There have been plenty of reports on the large amount of sugar in many children's cereals. By giving your children a hearty, healthy breakfast instead, you will not only be ensuring they get proper nutrition, but you will also be helping them form good eating habits. Plus, research shows that feeding children breakfast helps lower the risk of lead poisoning and boosts their brain power.
One important thing to keep in mind is that children's needs are not that much different than adults'. I feel that it's an advertisement-driven myth that children need special breakfasts. Children and adults have been eating the same breakfasts for hundreds of years, and there's no reason to stop that now just because we have a large variety of super-sugared cold cereals available.
PHOTO BREAK: 5 breakfast dishes to enjoy at dinner
However, as a parent, concentrating on making a delicious and nutritious meal for my children helps ensure that I eat a good breakfast as well. It's a win-win situation!
Here are 10 great breakfast ideas to keep your kids healthy and happy in the morning.
1. Scrambled Eggs, Stir-Fried Zucchini and Sausage: I find that we do better with a plenty of protein and vegetables. This breakfast is one of our favorites and it give everyone a good start to the day! My daughter has been eating this breakfast since she was quite little. So you don't end up using three pans, first stir-fry the zucchini in a little fat and salt until soft, remove from pan. Cook the sausage in the pan (I use bulk sausage with no casings). Remove from pan. Add more fat/oil to the pan and then scramble the eggs in the pan. You can also add the zucchini and sausage to the scrambled eggs, but we like to keep them separate.
2. Slow Cooker Hot Cereal and Oatmeal: I love waking up to a hot breakfast already made. These ideas are quite simple to throw together the night before. They're also perfect when family members eat at staggered times.
3. Pumpkin Butter on toast: This homemade butter is delicious on apple slices and on toast. For a special treat, spread over whole-grain bread (I recommend sprouted grain bread) and cover with sliced bananas. It's a nice change from peanut butter, and makes a quick meal on the go.
4. Pancakes with nut butter: You can also spread the pumpkin seed butter, or nut butter of your choice on pancakes. I like to keep pancakes in the refrigerator and freezer to toast them on-demand at breakfast. The whole grain pancakes recipe soaks the flour overnight, which not only reduces anti-nutrients present in whole grains, but also makes the end product fluffier and lighter.
5. Overnight Oats: These healthy, tasty concoctions are filling and convenient. Whip up any number of combinations the night before and have delicious breakfast ready and waiting for the morning rush.
6. Healthy baked goods: Another do-ahead breakfast is having pre-made, nutritious muffins or biscuits on hand. You can serve with a quickly scrambled egg and a piece of fruit. My favorites include this whole grain biscuit — which as above is soaked the night before. Kids and adults alike should also enjoy moist Carrot Oatmeal Muffins.
7. Fruit smoothies: We are a smoothie-loving family. Smoothies are popular with children because they're sweet, and they make an easy medium for adding probiotic foods, like yogurt or coconut kefir. You can also grind up chia seeds or pumpkin seeds for more protein. Buy some paper straws, and your child can sip his smoothie on the way to school, if needed. I don't add any sweetener; I simply add a naturally sweet banana to the fruit mix.
8. Yogurt and Fruit Topped with Granola: Chop up an apple and some walnuts and top with plain live-culture yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. Sprinkle with homemade or high quality store-bought granola. Serve. It’s like having a fruit salad for breakfast.
9. Italian Breakfast Skewers: We adore this recipe. It does take more time, however, so do it on a less hectic morning. My 5-year-old loves them!
10. Breakfast Burrito Bowl: We love these for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are protein- and flavor-packed.
Parenting can take a lot of creativity and patience, and getting your children to eat well is no exception to that rule. Remember that it's a journey, especially if your child is used to super-sweet cereal. But with persistence, good food and kindness, you are sure to make headway in feeding your child nourishing food for breakfast.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.