This article explores some of the best breakfast ideas for kids, focusing on high-protein foods, gluten-free options, and easy and healthy breakfast ideas to make mornings free of hassle. From smoothies and soft-boiled eggs to simple yet nourishing porridge, you'll find plenty of delicious recipes for healthy breakfasts that your kids will love.
Why is Breakfast So Important For Kids?
Like all morning routines, breakfast sets the tone for the day. This is no different for your kids, as breakfast is an essential meal providing energy and nutrients to support their growth and development. A nutritious breakfast also helps children stay focused throughout the day, maintain optimal energy levels and perform better at school.
So how best do we feed our kids in the morning?
To help meet their nutritional demands, aim for quality protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. This translates to foods like eggs, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, dairy and fruit. Varying your kid's breakfasts throughout the week also ensures you're covering a wide base of vitamins and minerals. Nutrients such as choline, omega 3, iron, calcium, zinc, B12 and Vitamin C are all essential for the development of children's bones, muscles and brain, as well as their immune function and energy production.
Is Cereal Healthy For Kids?
Given there is an entire supermarket aisle dedicated to this subset of the food pyramid, it's easy to assume that we as humans need to eat grains and cereal to be healthy. However, most commercial cereals aren't that good for you and have loads of added sugar to make them palatable for kids. They’re also devoid of many of the aforementioned essential nutrients for growth.
Steering away from refined foods matters when it comes to your child's overall health status. In fact, a study published in the World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics supports the notion that nutrition plays an integral role in body growth and the maintenance of healthy body weight in children. Being overweight, especially in early life can influence the timing of puberty and reproductive hormone function during adolescence. It seems that refined carbohydrate diets in the early years are a contributing factor to obesity, which has implications for both girls and boys as they enter teenagehood. Breakfast should be the first opportunity of the day to nourish your kids with the food they need now and into the future.
So when it comes to cereals, it's best to opt for wholegrain blends, natural muesli, steel cut or whole rolled oats. Or better still, make your own cereals at home.
Wholegrains (grains that contain the germ, bran and endosperm) are more nutritious than refined grains, due to their high fibre, protein and mineral content. Combined with fruit, nuts, seeds and a source of protein like yoghurt and your kids have started their day with a fairly nutritious breakfast.
Many healthy wholegrains are perfect as healthy breakfast options for kids. If your kids need gluten-free wholegrain alternatives, here are some to consider:
- Buckwheat / Kasha
- Oats (certified gluten-free)
- Brown Rice
Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Kids
Here are some easy breakfast ideas for kids to get you inspired in the mornings.
- Smoothies made with Greek yoghurt, oats, chia seeds, and your choice of fruit.
- Egg muffins with veggies like spinach or peppers.
- Homemade muesli made from rolled oats, nuts and seeds.
- Grain-free pancakes using cassava, almond or coconut flour.
- Scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with tomato sauce.
- Avocado toast topped with an egg.
- Homemade granola with almonds, coconut flakes and dried fruit.
- Almond meal pancakes made with banana, oats and Greek yoghurt.
- Nut butter toast topped with banana slices or berries.
- Overnight oats made with rolled oats, chia seeds and your choice of milk or yoghurt.
Prepare Healthy Breakfasts For Your Kids All Week
Let's face it, the most precious commodity in the mornings is time. Preparing a healthy breakfast ahead can save you unnecessary hassle, and knowing what you've prepared is also nutritious for your kids can be a huge relief. You can make big-batch muffins or overnight oats so you can wake up the next day without any extra prep.
However, on weekends, you may want to go slow and enjoy a morning of crepes, slow-simmering porridge or eggs on toast any way the kids like. However the morning goes, there are ways to rustle up healthy kids’ breakfasts any day of the week.
Healthy Kids' Breakfast Recipes
If you're looking for some nutritious breakfast ideas for your kids, these recipes will come in handy as you move through your mornings. Whether you're facing a busy weekday start or enjoying a slow lie-in on the weekend, keep your kids fed, healthy and happy with these delicious breakfast ideas.
Banana Oat Muffins
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Optional additions: LSA, chopped nuts, chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 180°C.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, rolled oats, milk, honey, and eggs until well combined.
- Add in the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix everything together until just combined.
- Add in any mix-ins and fold gently to combine.
- Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray or coconut oil.
- Pour the batter into the muffin tins until they are about 2/3 full.
- Bake the banana oat muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store the banana oat muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Blueberry Almond Banana Smoothie
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- If the smoothie is too thick, add a few ice cubes and blend again.
- Pour the smoothie into a cup or smoothie container and serve immediately.
Classic Soft-Boiled Egg with Toast Soldiers
- 2 large eggs
- 2 slices of sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp butter, softened
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a rolling boil.
- Use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the boiling water.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the eggs cook for exactly 6 minutes.
- While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread slices to your desired level of crispiness.
- Cut the toast into strips about 1 inch wide to create the "soldiers."
- Spread the butter over the toast soldiers and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the eggs have cooked for 6 minutes, use the slotted spoon to remove them from the pot. Run them under cold water for about 30 seconds to stop the cooking process.
- Use an egg cutter or knife to carefully slice off the tops of the eggs.
- Serve the soft-boiled eggs with the toast soldiers, using the soldiers to dip into the runny yolks.
Creamy Coconut Quinoa Porridge
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk (or your milk of choice)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Optional toppings: fresh berries, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, or dried fruit (figs, dates, prunes, sultanas)
- Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water.
- Bring the quinoa to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
- Let the quinoa simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender and fluffy.
- Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt to the pot.
- Stir everything together until well combined.
- Cover the pot again and let the mixture simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the porridge has thickened to your desired consistency.
- Stir the porridge occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the porridge has reached your desired consistency, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Serve your quinoa porridge warm in bowls, topped with any desired toppings like fresh berries, sliced bananas, or dried fruit.
Egg and Cheese Quesadilla
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 small tortillas
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, salsa, refried beans
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and use a spatula to scramble the eggs until they are fully cooked, then remove from the pan.
- Place one tortilla in the pan and sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over it.
- Spoon the scrambled eggs on top of the cheese, spreading them out evenly over the tortilla.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the scrambled eggs.
- Place the second tortilla on top of the cheese to form a quesadilla.
- Cook the quesadilla for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy.
- Cut the quesadilla into wedges and serve it with any optional toppings you like.