Heading back to school often means the return of more rushed mornings. Sometimes a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast is easy enough, but it doesn’t provide good fuel for your child’s day (thanks to those added sugars). It’s important to set your little one up for success by making sure their bodies and minds are properly nourished and ready for a full day of activities and learning.
Making sure your family’s breakfast includes important dietary components will help ensure children have the energy and brain power needed to support their schedule. Nutritious food with a balanced amount of carbohydrates and protein will help them do just that.
Trying a new approach could be as simple as adjusting your thoughts about what breakfast traditionally is. Everyone knows eating cold, leftover pizza for breakfast is a thing but practically any leftovers can be served for breakfast! Dinners often include a protein and carb making them a good choice in the morning too. Don’t be shy about switching it up with chicken, fish, or pasta for breakfast!
Let eggs take center stage! Eggs provide 6 grams of high-quality protein as well as 5 grams of fat, iron, vitamins, and minerals. Prep hardboiled eggs the night before for an easy to grab option. Pair eggs with a fruit high in vitamin C like mangos, oranges, berries, or pineapple to help aid in the absorption of iron. Check out the “Grab & Go Egg Muffins” for an easy Grow Fit-inspired recipe below.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be homemade to be nutritious and not all processed foods are bad for you. Use these tips to help select healthy and convenient foods:
- Look for a limited number of ingredients. Can you read or understand what they are? You shouldn’t need a dictionary to know what you are eating.
- Is the product made with whole grains?
- Is the sodium content less than 16% of the DV (daily value)?
- Does it have less than 5 grams of added sugars?
- How many grams of fiber does it contain? The more the better. In general, take your child’s age and add 5 to 10 grams to determine how many grams they need per day.
- Whole Grain Frozen Waffles & Yogurt
- Brown Rice Cups & Black Beans
- Chicken/Turkey Sausage & Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Grow Fit Recipes
Try one of our Grow Fit-approved recipes below. The first one involves eggs and does take some extra time to prepare, but they are great when pre-made and warmed up quickly in the microwave. The rest come together in 15 minutes or less (even when the kids are helping!).
Make Ahead Grab & Go Egg Muffins (Makes 12)
- 12 eggs
- 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice)
- 3 cups chopped veggies (try broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, or spinach)
- 2 cups diced turkey sausage or Canadian bacon
- 3 small green onions, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
- Cook meat as needed, then dice or chop it up.
- For young assistants: Have children assist with breaking the eggs into a pourable container, such as a large measuring cup. Beat eggs well until completely combined.
- For young assistants: Have them season the eggs with salt and pepper.
- Layer meat, veggies, cheese, and green onions into each dish of the muffin tin.
- Pour the eggs on top. Stir each gently with a fork to combine the ingredients.
- Bake about 30 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly brown.
- Let the muffins cool for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from the tin.
- Serve or store the muffins in a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. They can be reheated in the microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds for a quick grab-and-go breakfast.
Yogurt & Granola Parfait (Serves 4)
- 4 cups (32 oz.) yogurt (plain, vanilla, or fruit-flavored)
- 1 cup whole-grain granola
- 1 cup peaches, diced (fresh or frozen/defrosted)
- Set out 4 cups or bowls
- For young assistants: Have children assist with layering ¼ cup yogurt, 1 Tbsp. granola, and 1 Tbsp. fruit into each cup or bowl. Repeat 3 times and finish with a final layer of yogurt.
- Sprinkle a touch of granola on top of each to finish.
Tomato Basil Avocado Toast* (Serves 2)
- 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ tsp. olive oil
- 2 pieces multi-grain or whole-wheat bread, toasted
- 1 small avocado
- 1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
- For young assistants: Have your child assist with smashing the avocado in a small bowl.
- Toast the slices of bread.
- For young assistants: Have them mix the quartered tomatoes, chopped basil, and a drizzle of olive oil together.
- Slather each piece of toast with the smashed avocado.
- For young assistants: Have them top the avocado with ½ of the tomato mixture on each.
Whipped Cottage Cheese Bowls (Serves 1-2)
- 1 cup fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
- ½ cup toppings of choice
- Place cottage cheese in a food processor (not a blender).
- Pulse a few times and then process until smooth.
- Divide the whipped cottage cheese into two bowls.
- For young assistants: Have each child add their toppings of choice.
Try these tips and flavor combinations:
- Peanut or Almond Butter, Bananas, and Cinnamon
- Maple Syrup and Strawberries or Blueberries
- Whole Grain Granola and Peaches
- Pineapple Tidbits and Toasted Coconut
- Mango and Toasted Almonds
- Tip #1: Put the contents of the whole container of cottage cheese into the food processor. After whipping, you can transfer it back into the original container for easy use in the mornings.
- Tip #2: You can flavor your whipped cottage cheese with fresh fruit, frozen fruit, or canned pumpkin by adding these to the food processor and blending both together until smooth.
*This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 8/1/23.