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Everyone needs a good start to the day which means a nutritious breakfast. Children burn off a lot of energy, even in the morning and time is short, so here are some easy breakfast ideas kids love that don’t take a ton of time.
Healthy breakfast for picky eaters
I wasn’t much of a breakfast eater until I started doing daycare and had to make breakfast that was healthy and easy enough to make with 7 kids arriving.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine get tired of the same old breakfast choices every day. Occasionally we fall into a boring old routine of having bagels, cereal, eggs, or just a bowl of yogurt. Not only are these choices nutritionally lacking when served alone, but they also get old after a while.
I’ve made a list of some easy breakfast ideas that will help you shake up your breakfast routine.
Cinnamon toast tops the easy list for providers, but I’ve yet to meet a kid that was not happy to oblige this breakfast. I used to tell my toddlers it was, “breakfast cake.” If you’ve never heard of cinnamon toast, you simply toast some bread, butter it, and add cinnamon and sugar once the butter has melted.
I usually serve mine with a glass of milk and some fresh fruit. Bacon or sausage can also make a nice protein on the side if desired.
Staying in the quick and easy toast realm, French toast can be a tricky way to get kids to gobble down eggs without protest. To make French toast, a basic recipe requires a beaten egg with a dash of milk and cinnamon in a bowl. (I add a splash of vanilla to mine as well). Take a piece of bread, dip it in the mixture, and then cook it in a pan. When the egg is cooked, remove and top with syrup.
While protein is covered in the egg, this one goes nicely with some fresh fruit and milk as well.
You can also make a quick batch of oatmeal for just pennies a serving. My kids love oatmeal and I make different flavors each time.
You can buy pre-made waffle and pancake mixes that only require a bit of water- just measure, mix, and cook. With a waffle iron, you can make this breakfast in five minutes. You can also make this homemade pancake recipe that’s amazing.
I just accompany them with a bit of sausage or bacon if you’d like. And then have some fruit and a glass of milk. For added fun, you can let your kids choose colors for their pancakes or waffles by adding a bit of food coloring. As a side note, using instant muffin mixes in a waffle iron will produce a waffle-sized muffin top. Varieties such as banana or blueberry are especially delicious. You can also make a delicious pancake breakfast sandwich with them. Or put out a fun pancake taco bar for a treat.
Don’t forget that pancakes, muffins, and waffles freeze great if you want to do make ahead freezer meals for daycare.
Daycare breakfast ideas
Breakfast burritos are a hit at fast food joints, but you can serve them at daycare with minimal effort. Simply scrambled eggs, cheese, and a little salsa on warmed whole wheat flour tortillas are quick and easy, even on a hurried weekday morning.
You can also make these in bulk and freeze them. Grab them out and heat and serve. You can put veggies inside or add a side of fruit and a glass of milk for a great breakfast for the kids.
I love serving leftover quiche to my kids in the morning. Full of protein and whatever veggies I add, this dish is pretty balanced as far as nutrition goes and since it is an egg dish it just feels like a breakfast food anyway. Double the recipe when you make it for dinner, then keep the leftovers for breakfast. Quiche freezes very well. I tend to bake 6 at a time for pre-made freezer meals.
Puffed oven pancakes take only a minute to whip up and a few minutes in the oven. Pop a batch in the oven and by the time you get through reading your kids for school, breakfast will be hot and ready.
As tasty as a milkshake, smoothies can function as a complete meal when done right. Use mostly fruit, but add veggies and lots of protein. I don’t add sugar, especially when I use bananas and pineapple because they are sweet enough as is. Try some of these smoothie recipes.
Whether you make your own bread or buy it at the store, a high-quality whole wheat bread paired with a nutritious spread can make a great breakfast. My son likes to have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but hummus, egg salad, pimento cheese spread, and cream cheese all work well. I like to put a batch of bread in the bread machine at night before I go to bed so when we wake up, fresh and healthy homemade bread awaits.
I know, omelets are an obvious breakfast choice, but I encourage you to think outside the skillet when doing your grocery shopping. Buy a variety of omelet ingredients such as feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, spinach, and other veggies and cheeses that you and your kids like. Omelets don’t always need to be prepared the same old way.
Biscuits and gravy, cheesy eggs, and cereal are by far my kid’s three favorite breakfasts all of which are very easy to make and don’t require much time in the morning.
Daycare menus breakfast lunch and snack ideas
For more cacfp approved meal ideas, check these out: