Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we get asked this question a lot by our parents, and our answer is always a resounding yes. After a night of sleep, your child’s fuel tank is empty. To fill up that tank again, he/she needs a healthy breakfast containing a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein. This is what fuels brain cells for learning and provides energy for the physical and mental demands of school – no matter your child’s age.
We’re parents too and we know how hard it to fix a healthy breakfast for your family when everyone’s rushing in the morning. To help you raise healthy kids in any way we can, we came up with our top 10 healthy breakfast recipes that will fuel your kids’ bodies and minds and also be fun to eat. Enjoy!
Go for variety at breakfast
Just like at other meals, your child should eat a variety of foods at breakfast, including:
- grains (whole grains are best)
- protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans, nuts, seeds)
- dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt)
10 fast, healthy breakfasts to help get them ready to learn
Feed your children and get them out the door in a flash with these kid-friendly breakfasts that take 20 minutes or less to make!
1. English-Muffin Egg Sandwiches
These mini breakfast sandwiches may soon become a family favorite. They are super easy to make and provide a variety of nutrients to start the day.
- English muffin toasted
- 1 egg and one egg white
- 1 slice low sodium muenster cheese (or other cheese of your choice)
- 1 handful raw spinach
Place eggs in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with spinach and then cheese. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until egg is fully cooked. Place egg on top of English muffin and enjoy.
2. Yogurt and Granola Parfait
Your kids will think they’re eating dessert, not breakfast (but with a much-needed dose of calcium and a big energy boost to start their day).
- ¼ cup granola
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- handful of fresh strawberries or blueberries
Place the granola in the bottom of a parfait glass or dish. Spoon the yogurt on top and top with the fresh berries.
3. Breakfast Burrito
- 2 eggs
- whole wheat tortilla
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese
- 1/4 cooked black beans
- 1 tablespoon fresh salsa
- 1/4 avocado chopped
Scramble eggs in a small skillet. Assemble eggs, cheese, beans and salsa on top of tortilla and heat in microwave for 1-2 minutes. Serve with a side of chopped avocado.
4. Frozen Waffle Makeover
Liven up breakfast by creating faces with healthy ingredients!
- 1 whole grain waffle cooked according to package
- blueberries and strawberries, banana slices
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
Spread nut butter on the waffle. Using the berries and fruit, create a face or other fun design on top of the waffle.
5. Eggs with Ham, Cheddar and Chives
Children will gobble up these not-quite-green eggs and ham – easier to put together than an omelet but delivers the same yummy flavors.
- ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon milk or water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ham and sauté until browned. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, to desired doneness, 4-5 minutes, adding cheddar and chives just before the eggs are set.
6. Homemade Pancakes
Easier to make than you think and they are full of only whole ingredients, no preservatives or unnecessary sugar.
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 1½ cup lowfat milk
- 2 eggs
You can add many other healthy ingredients as you wish, such as ground flax seed, bananas, blueberries, walnuts…the sky’s the limit.
Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Melt butter in a pan. Place ¼ cup of mix in pan and cook until bubbling, flip and cook until done on the other side.
7. Eggs With Tortilla Chips, Salsa and Cheese
This low-maintenance take on huevos rancheros still has plenty of Mexican flair.
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk or water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- ¾ cup salsa (drained)
Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, to desired doneness, 4-5 minutes, adding cheese just before they’re set. Serve with a side of salsa.
8. Egg in a Hole with Basket and Yogurt
Served with fruit, this breakfast is a well-balanced meal.
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 cup berries (such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
Spread the top of each slice of bread with ¼ tablespoon each of the butter. Using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut a 3-inch hole in the center of each slice of bread, reserving the cutout pieces. Heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the bread and the cutouts, buttered-side up, in the skillet. Crack 1 egg into each hole. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook until the underside of the bread is golden, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook the egg to desired doneness, 1-2 minutes for a runny yolk. Serve one egg in the basket with a handful of berries.
9. Steel Cut Oatmeal
Using quick-cooking steel cut oatmeal, cook according to package instructions. Serve topped with cinnamon and vanilla, fresh fruit and walnuts. Place a baking sheet on top of the muffin tin while the buns are still hot. Carefully flip the tin over, tapping the bottom to release the buns. Transfer to a platter. Serve warm.
10. Farina With Apricots and Almonds
A refreshing change from a bowl of oatmeal, this warm, comforting dish is perfect on a cool morning. The sugar will melt as it comes in contact with the hot farina, creating a delicious syrup that kids love.
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- kosher salt
- 1/3 cup farina (such as Cream of Wheat; not instant)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons roasted almonds, chopped
Bring the milk and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk in the farina. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with the sugar, apricots and almonds.
Yes, breakfast matters!
Studies show that kids who eat breakfast perform much better in school and show extra energy in sports and other physical activities. Similarly, teachers observe that children who come to school hungry experience more learning difficulties compared to well-nourished children. In addition, eating a healthy breakfast on a daily basis has a measurable, positive affect on alertness, attention, performance on standardized achievement tests, and other skills important for academic success.
So eat up!