Having two growing boys with seemingly-endless appetites makes breakfast in my house a crucial meal to start them off on the right foot. With their schedules, they both have a while until lunch, so I am sure to fill them up with quick, easy meals that focus on providing protein and fiber. Both nutrients help with feeling fuller longer, while fiber, in particular, helps regulate blood sugar to keep energy levels in check. Having steady blood sugar levels also helps decrease hyperactivity, eliminates crashes, increases attention span and actually helps with test performance.
Here are 5 easy and satisfying breakfast ideas for kids:
1. BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE: This is a huge hit in my house because the boys can sip them leisurely, but also because I can prep most of the ingredients in sandwich bags for them to just throw in the blender the next day. Combine ½ cup oatmeal, a handful of spinach, ½ cup frozen berries, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp chia seeds and 1 cup milk or almond milk. (If you prep ahead of time, add the yogurt and milk the day you prepare it.) Blend until smooth.
2. MINI QUICHES: These can be prepared in advance and warmed in the microwave. I customize 6 for each boy. Combine 6 eggs beaten, ½ cup milk, and salt and pepper. Pour into a 12-cup muffin tin. Add any combination of diced peppers, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, ham, sausage, bacon, and any type of shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
3. TOASTER WAFFLE MONTE CRISTO: For the fancier kiddos, try this variation of the restaurant classic, usually made with French toast. Toast 1-2 frozen toaster waffles, and build a sandwich with one slice of ham and one slice of cheese. (I use Swiss but you can use any kind.) Keep open-faced and broil in toaster oven until cheese is melted.
4. GRILLED CHEESE: It’s not just for lunch anymore, and when it’s made with whole grain bread, it adds a nice dose of fiber. You can use any cheese, but I recommend a low-fat version, and if your kids aren’t picky add a slice of tomato.
5. "WE’RE RUNNING LATE" FRUIT SLICES: This is my go-to when everyone oversleeps, no one wants to get their act together, or on a Friday when you have no energy left to care. Slice one apple and spread with any type of nut or nut-free butter. Or slice one banana and spread with nut/nut-free butter or honey.