As a mom of a second grader and preschooler, I know it's not always easy getting your child to eat breakfast in the morning. Your child might not be hungry or just too tired to eat. Maybe you offer them some cereal or toast and it gets half eaten. Or in my case frozen waffles and mini pancakes. Some mornings are so rushed that there isn't nearly enough time for a good breakfast!
The school year will look different for many of us, but no matter what your child should eat breakfast!
Here's the thing. You've got to make breakfast a non negotiable for your kids. A good, protein packed breakfast is crucial for our kids to succeed during the school day. Think about it this way: the peak energy needs for kids is at 10 am during math class! Their little brains have to be ready to absorb it all. If your child is hungry or has a foggy brain, they won't be able to concentrate. Studies show that when kids eat a high protein breakfast they have an increased metabolism, less cravings for sweets, more stable blood sugar, more satiety/appetite control, less unhealthy snacking in evenings and more weight control. Bottom line: Protein keeps are bodies feeling full, our minds clear and gives us lasting energy. This is important for the school day! Unfortunately, the typical breakfast kids prefer doesn't usually include a lot of protein. It's the opposite really: high carb! A good rule of thumb is 10-15 grams of protein, the equivalent of 2-3 eggs. That's a lot of eggs but fortunately I have a list of high protein breakfast options for you and your child to choose.
Egg & Bean Burrito in a whole wheat tortilla wrap.
Egg, Ham and Cheese on English muffin
Hard boiled eggs on whole grain toast with avocado
Bento box: This works great for on the go! Pack a hard boiled egg, almonds, yogurt or cottage cheese with berries, whole grain crackers
Breakfast tacos with eggs, cheese and beans
Oatmeal made with dairy milk. Add in chopped apple and walnuts
Nut and berry greek yogurt parfait
Peanut butter toast with a glass of milk
Overnight oats/Swiss oats mix with yogurt in the morning for extra protein
Cottage cheese + berries + granola
Baked oatmeal cups + scrambled eggs + fruit
Smoothies made with milk or yogurt, fruit, and optional protein powder or Daily Sunshine
Kodiak cakes or Kodiak frozen waffles with nut butter and fruit
Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal bars + yogurt
Whole grain muffins with a glass of milk or string cheese
Turkey and cheese roll ups + fruit
Banana + PB + yogurt tube
Now, I know the morning can be chaotic which is why you have to do a little prep! Plan a few breakfast ideas on Sunday and batch cook or prep so that you have easy things to grab and go during the week. A few other ideas to help:
Start slow. If your child isn't used to breakfast, slowly start offering some lighter choices like yogurt or a smoothie. At the very least I make sure my son drinks a glass of 2% milk to fill his belly.
Get up Earlier. Even 10-15 minutes can make a big difference.
Prep the Night before. Do it once and you will be amazed at how it reduces stress in the morning. Several breakfast options work well if prepared the night before, such as overnight oats, fruit and yogurt parfaits, hard-boiled eggs, or simply setting your breakfast table with shelf-stable items such as cereal, bread and fruit.
Make Ahead and Freeze. Try to make breakfast foods in bulk and freeze them for later. The weekend is a good time to do this! Homemade pancakes, waffles and French toast all freeze well and are quick to re-heat. Homemade muffins, quick breads or baked scrambled egg muffins are healthy, homemade, and keep well in the fridge or freezer, also.
Assemble Grab and Go Items like smoothies, muffins, yogurt parfaits.
Any other tips to share or protein packed breakfasts your family enjoys?