For the longest time, I was afraid to branch out beyond cereal for breakfast on school mornings. It turns out there are lots of healthy breakfast ideas that my kids will eat quickly.
My kids enjoyed eating cereal, and I felt good about adding berries or banana slices to make it healthier. Plus I needed my kids to eat quickly to get ready for school. Serving cereal topped with fresh fruit seemed like the best option with the least hassle. However, I have expanded my ideas about healthy breakfasts.
I know I love eating traditional breakfast foods. An omelet with onion and green pepper is right up my alley, but that probably wouldn’t be my kids’ first choice for breakfast. When I realized they actually would eat eggs quickly in the mornings, things began to change.
Planning for Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Since I needed my kids to eat quickly to get ready for school, I made cereal topped with fruit 6 days a week. Then on Sundays, I would cook a bigger, more traditional breakfast like omelets or pancakes.
Now, most mornings I make breakfast for my family of four. One or two days a week, I have the kids make cereal and peanut butter toast so they get some practice making breakfast. Eventually I would like to teach my kids to make more complex breakfasts.
In order to keep from relying on cereal, I know I need to plan ahead. When I don’t plan ahead, I prepare cereal.
I use a daily planner that has space for planning meals each day. I use this space for daily breakfast and supper plans. This is necessary because sometimes I have to do some prep work the night before to fulfill my breakfast plan.
Here are four of my family’s favorite healthy breakfast ideas.
1. Baked oatmeal
I used to make stovetop oatmeal a couple of mornings a week to change things up. This didn’t work well because my kids weren’t fans of that oatmeal, and they ate it slowly.
However, my family loves baked oatmeal. I think the texture makes it feel more like a fun treat. The recipe I use makes enough for 2 breakfasts. So I plan baked oatmeal for 2 mornings during the week.
Then I bake the full recipe the first morning and reheat the leftovers for the second morning. This works well for me because I would normally get up at least a half hour before my first kid needs to wake up.
In fact, we have a great system right now where my daughter prepares the oatmeal on Sunday afternoons and I bake it on Monday morning. Here’s the recipe we use: Make-ahead Baked Oatmeal Recipe
I often add sliced bananas on top and some family members like milk added to theirs.
Once I learned that I don’t have to make 4 individual omelets, this became a fairly quick and healthy breakfast to add in during the week. I use a large frying pan that will cook a large 4-egg omelet that I can split between 2 people.
I save time by only making 2 large omelets. I split the first one between my husband and daughter, giving my 8-year-old a smaller portion. My husband ends up with a bigger omelet and my daughter gets a smaller omelet that way.
Then my 14-year-old son and I split the second omelet so we each get about a 2-egg omelet. Then I add some fresh fruit on the side.
Sometimes I simply make cheese omelets with freshly shredded cheese. If I have ham or pre-cooked sausage available, I might add that as an easy filling.
3. Waffles with fruit
Making waffles is a new luxury for me. I recently acquired a brand new waffle maker from a family member that had an extra. It’s a basic waffle maker that makes 2 rectangles at a time.
I also have the Chocolate-Covered Katie cookbook, which is amazing and has a delicious chocolate brownie waffle recipe that I have fallen in love with.
A chocolate brownie waffle doesn’t sound healthy for breakfast, but Katie’s recipes use natural sweeteners and lower quantities. I feel much better serving this homemade waffle topped with fresh or frozen fruit than a bowl of highly processed cereal topped with the same fruit.
You can save time in the mornings by making waffles anytime and then freezing them until you are ready to eat them. Just pop frozen waffles in toaster to cook when you are ready.
4. Yogurt, fruit, and peanut butter toast
I buy plain yogurt and add a bit of vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup. Then I will either serve with sliced apples or stir in berries or chopped bananas.
To make the meal a little more filling, I add peanut butter toast for an easy breakfast idea.
5. Easy protein punch with milk, boiled egg and PB toast
Speaking of filling meals, many nutrition experts recommend getting 25-30 grams of protein at every meal. Protein is a nutrient that helps us feel full longer.
One slice of whole wheat toast with two tablespoons of peanut butter equals about 11 grams of protein. When I pair that with an 8-ounce glass of milk (8 grams protein) and a boiled egg (6 grams protein), that puts me up to 25 grams of protein with very little effort.
You can also combine breakfast with your morning snack to get up to 25-30 grams of protein. Adding Greek yogurt or cottage cheese as a morning snack will pack a big protein punch.
The first step was paying attention to what my family likes to eat for breakfast. The second step was writing my breakfast plans in my daily planner. By doing these 2 things, I have been able to make healthy breakfasts a priority for my family.
What are your favorite healthy breakfast ideas?