Quick and Easy Breakfasts Your Kids Will Love

Here's how to start your kids’ day out right
Quick and Easy Breakfasts Your Kids Will Love

Children need a nutritious breakfast every day to set them up for success. But getting your kids to eat something before school is not always easy, especially if you are a health-conscious parent. Don’t give up. Some simple tips and fun ideas can help.

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Pediatric registered dietitian Jennifer Willoughby says building a better back-to-school breakfast starts with two key components.

“It’s really important to give them something with a protein and something with a carbohydrate — preferably a whole grain or a piece of fruit. You want them to eat a breakfast that will fill them up and keep them full when they go in for that first class of the day,” she says.

Getting a good start

A healthy first meal gives kids the energy and balanced nutrition they need to start their day. It improves learning and behavior. Additionally, new research shows that a good breakfast helps keep children at a healthy weight and can help prevent childhood obesity.

A few tasty suggestions

Some plain Greek yogurt and a handful of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal provide a great breakfast before school, Ms. Willoughby says. Add apiece of fruit or berries and you’ll make it that much better. The fiber content will make your kids feel fuller, longer.

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Some other high-quality options include:

  • A piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter.
  • Plain oatmeal with some peanut butter or mixed nuts as your protein source.
  • A hard-boiled egg and a piece of fruit.

A healthy variety is important

You can also find a number of nutritious, delicious and fun recipes that will help get the kids to eat breakfast. Just as with your other meals, you should offer a variety of foods, including:

  • Fruit.
  • Vegetables.
  • Grains (make at least half your grains whole grains).
  • Protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, nuts and seeds).
  • Dairy products (low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt).

Have some fun with it

Mix it up. Have your kids try a fruit smoothie. Another popular option is a banana dog (peanut butter, a banana and raisins in a long whole-grain bun). Or try an easy breakfast taco (shredded cheese on a tortilla, folded in half and microwaved — topped with salsa).

Always make sure your children have water or a glass of milk before school each day. Juices are especially high in sugars and should be avoided.

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The protein/carb combination is key

The foundation of a great breakfast for your children, Ms. Willoughby says, is that combination of a protein and a carbohydrate to fuel the body and the brain.

The best part is that a healthy breakfast can be quick and easy, too.

“It doesn’t take a lot of effort,” she says. “Have things ready in the morning that they can just grab and go, even if they just do something as simple as a glass of low-fat milk and a baggie of cereal on their way to school. You still want to have that pairing there, but it can be easy. It can be fun.”

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