Some of the things kids want for breakfast are truly cringe-worthy, but there is a way to break (or prevent) these bad breakfast habits. Here are some tips and ideas for healthy breakfasts on the go that both you and your kids can smile about.
Not all muffins are created equal. A muffin does not have to be a sugary sweet cupcake in disguise but instead a kid-friendly nutritional powerhouse. Use healthier ingredients like whole grain/whole wheat flour, oats, bran flakes, maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped fruit, and fruit juices or pure extracts to create sweetness and texture. Instead of fats like butter, try canola oil in your batter. You can create classic muffins like apple cinnamon, blueberry, and cranberry orange with almost no processed ingredients while maintaining kid-approved flavor.
Smoothies are among nature’s miracles for getting kids to eat healthy and enjoy what they are consuming. Smoothies are also portable by design and make a great breakfast on the go. Use ingredients like Greek yogurt (for its higher protein yield) paired up with fruit, juices, and even vegetables that can be masked by the color and flavor of fruit. There are thousands of recipes available online so find something that works well for your kids. Remember that smoothies can also be make with frozen fruit.
If your kids aren’t fans of smoothies try to get them to eat yogurt. Again go for the Greek variety for its higher protein levels but be sure to check labels for any additional sugars or processed ingredients. And be very careful when it comes to yogurt prepackaged with toppings as many of them are sugar-laden nightmares! Top simple vanilla-flavored yogurt or a variety that contains real fruit with things like almonds, honey, and even more fruit. You can even try adding in Goji berries which have recently begun to make waves as an antioxidant-rich superfood that has the bonus of being naturally very sweet.
Making your own breakfast bars is a cinch and you have complete control over what goes in them. You can choose from ingredients like granola, oats, cereals, or even quinoa-the only grain that is also a complete protein. Once you have your base you can add in fruits, honey, nuts, and even treats like almond or cashew butter. Research different recipes to come up with your own “custom blend” based on what your kids enjoy. Since dark chocolate is an energy-boosting antioxidant, you could even mix in a few bittersweet mini-chips for the familiarity of chocolate without having too much of a good thing. Several prepackaged breakfast bars have huge quantities of sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, so making your own is definitely the better choice.
Whole-grain English muffins with real fruit topping or used to make a breakfast sandwich are an ideal portable breakfast. They will help kids stay fuller longer and are a great alternative to plain bread. To duplicate a famous recipe, just put eggs, a slice of Canadian bacon, and a slice of reduced fat cheese in an English muffin and presto-your kids have a tasty, portable breakfast to help them start the day right.