Mornings can be extremely hectic, especially for families with small children. It can be a challenge just to get everyone ready for the day, let alone trying to ensure your little ones are fed a healthy breakfast. Luckily, a healthy, kid-friendly breakfast doesn't have to be time consuming. A filling and fast breakfast should include healthy whole grains, muscle-building protein and vitamin-packed fruits in order to get your toddler's day off to a good start.
Peanut Butter Toast
Toast topped with peanut butter can be such a simple breakfast, yet kids will gobble it up time and time again. Choose whole-grain toast for the added vitamins, minerals and fiber. Top it with peanut butter, or any type of nut butter, which adds protein. To round out the breakfast, include some sliced fruit, such as berries, grapes or oranges. This breakfast favorite will take minutes to prepare, but is packed with nutrients and will keep your child satisfied throughout the morning.
Cereal with Milk
Cereal is a quick breakfast choice, and when you choose whole-grain cereal options, it can be nutritious as well. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends looking for a cereal with little to no added sugar, no trans or saturated fats and at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving. As an added bonus, cereal can be a great on-the-go breakfast, as you can put cold cereal in a container and kids can eat it dry with their milk in a cup on the side. Instant or quick-cooking oatmeal is another fast breakfast option for chilly mornings. To add flavor, mix in diced fruit, applesauce or cinnamon. Oatmeal is great source of fiber and contains lots of iron, which is necessary for little growing bodies.
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothie
A filling and delicious smoothie can take minutes to make and can be enjoyed on the go. Combine fruit, fresh or frozen, milk and yogurt in the blender and mix until smooth. This combination will provide fiber and lots of essential vitamins from the fruit, and the milk and yogurt packs protein, calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen growing bones.
Eggs are too time consuming for a busy family, right? Not when you can use the convenience of a microwave. Coat a microwave-safe cup with non-stick cooking spray, add an egg and a dash of milk, beat until blended and microwave for one minute, or until set. Top with shredded cheese and serve with a piece of whole-grain toast. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as one large egg contains 6 grams. In minutes you can serve up a weekend breakfast favorite that will give your toddler tons of energy for the day.
When you truly are left with no time to spare, keep healthy items on hand that can be quickly grabbed as you are running out the door. Some protein-packed options include individual yogurt containers or pouches, string cheese, hard-boiled eggs and single-serve milk boxes. Easy-to-eat fruits, like bananas, apple slices, berries or applesauce pouches make for great breakfast additions. Whole-grain crackers and low-sugar cereal bars or granola bars can round out the meal and provide filling fiber. Even if you are left with only seconds, having these items ready can ensure a healthy breakfast for your little one.
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