8 Hearty Breakfast Ideas Your Kids Will Love
When my boys went to public school, I’d started each school year with grand ideas of getting them to eat super fun healthy lunches. Unfortunately, my kids had other ideas… like playing at lunch recess instead of eating.
My game plan became getting them to eat a hearty breakfast with lots of protein, whole grains, and fruits. Then provide a simple lunch at school that they can quickly eat, followed by a healthy snack right after school.
Here is my basic morning strategy to fill up my kids:
#1 Avoid sugary and white flour foods with a high glycemic index.
These foods will leave children feeling hungry or maybe even starving within an hour of breakfast. Avoid foods like:
- All cold cereals (unless homemade)
- White and processed foods – white toast, english muffins, toaster waffles, pop tarts
- Any breakfast foods that are high in sugar
Nutella and cereal commercials promote their foods like they’re healthy breakfast choices. Unfortunately, if a food company has to tell you it’s healthy then it probably isn’t.
If you have any of these foods in the house, it’s time to find delicious and nutritious foods instead!
#2 Cook a homemade hearty breakfast
There is just no way around cooking breakfast, especially for kids that don’t eat much for lunch. However, you can save time by:
- Using a slow cooker (see below)
- Cooking up large batches
- Prepping and/or cooking the night before
You’ll also need to give your kids plenty of time to eat these large and healthy breakfasts.
#3 Try these breakfast ideas
1. Classic Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon or Sausage & Fruit. Apple Chicken sausage is a great morning treat!
TIP: Look for brands without nitrates that use organic meats.
2. Multi-Grain Pancakes, Organic Bacon & Fruit – add things like oats, cottage cheese, lots of eggs to make the pancakes filling.
- Pumpkin Pie Pancakes by NourishingJoy.com
- Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes by Cara Comini
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sourdough Pancakes by NourishingJoy.com
- Sourdough Pancakes at HolisticSquid.com
Reduce syrup intake by mixing butter with the the syrup or blending blueberries, butter, and maple syrup in the blender.
3. Homemade oatmeal made with old fashioned or steel cut oats. Serve with healthy flax oil or MCT oil, nuts, and fruit. Sweeten with a little stevia or maple syrup.
TIP: To make the oats easier to digest and quick to cook, soak whole oats overnight before cooking with them. Rinse the oats in the morning and then it’ll take just a few minutes for them to cook.
4. Serve Lunch for Breakfast! Why not? I’ve served ham & cheese breakfast sandwiches, egg sandwiches, BLT sandwiches, burritos, or leftovers from the night before.
5. Homemade breads or crepes with nut or seed butter. When you make zucchini or banana bread, reduce the sugar content and add foods like almond meal, quinoa flakes, etc. to boost protein content.
Here’s a recipe for Grain-Free Low-Carb Coconut Flour Crepes by Cara Comini.
Then slather on the nut or seed butter. My kids love sunflower seed butter as it has a similar taste to peanut butter but a contains more omega-3 fats.
6. Serve breakfast with a glass of whole/raw organic milk or coconut milk for those with diary allergies.
TIP: Coconut milk is my favorite diary alternative because it has lots of medium chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to the immune system and the brain!
7. Smoothies. This is a summer time or on-the-go favorite. My basic smoothie recipe always has:
- 1 cup of coconut milk or kefir
- 1/2 cup frozen fruit
- 20 grams no-sugar protein powder (rice, pea, hemp, or whey)
- 1/4 cup spinach, carrots or other veggies (which you can’t taste)
Then I mix and match seasonal fruit, a little banana (not too much), nut butter or, if I’m living dangerously, a little natural unsweetened cocoa powder. YUM!
8. Conjee. This is a traditional Chinese rice porridge that is savory, nourishing, easy to digest, and very filling. The basic recipe is:
- 6 cups of homemade bone or vegetable broth
- 1 cup Rice
Rinse the rice with water for a few minutes. Add the rice and broth into a stock pot, cover, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Then simmer, partially uncovered for about 1-1/2 hours, continuing to stir occasionally. If it gets too thick, stir in more broth.
Breakfast can be challenging, but it really is the MOST important meal of the day!
Starting out with a hearty breakfast helps our kids boost their brain power and get a great start at school. I hope these ideas will inspire you to find more ways to feed your kids a healthy, filling breakfast.