We’ve all heard it a thousand times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Cliche though the phrase might be, it’s true, especially for children. Healthy breakfasts help set kids up for success throughout the entire day, from increasing focus in school to boosting energy for physical activities. Breakfast—especially when rich in fiber—helps kids feel full longer, allowing them to sustain their attention and focus on the task at hand.
Aside from the cognitive benefits, breakfast also offers additional nutrients that lunch and dinner alone don’t always provide, such as fiber from whole grains and calcium and protein from dairy. Eating breakfast also lessens the chance that mid-morning hunger will strike, tempting some kids to fill up with less-than-ideal snacks from the vending machine.
Instead of rushing through a bowl of cereal before heading out the door, try carving out 10–20 minutes to make breakfast with your kids. Spending unrushed time together in the morning helps set the tone for the day. It also offers a chance to bond before busy schedules take over.
Here are five easy, healthy breakfast recipes for you and your kids to make together.
Pizza for breakfast? You bet. This easy-to-assemble meal packs a punch of protein, a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil and is ready in less than 10 minutes. Time-saving tip: hard-boil the eggs the night before.
Start with Greek yogurt (plenty of protein and calcium with less sugar), then get creative. Have your kids choose a few toppings to mix in, from chopped almonds and uncooked oats to fresh berries and honey. It is important to empower kids to make their own independent eating decisions as they get older, and this DIY yogurt parfait can help them do so in a fun way.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to smoothie ingredients! Even veggies such as spinach and kale can play a role. Experiment to see which flavors your kids prefer, from mango and blueberry to peanut butter. Try serving the smoothie in a bowl instead of a glass, then add protein toppings such as slivered almonds, walnuts or seeds such as chia or hemp.
Are mornings just too busy to make breakfast? Make these breakfast bars with your kids the night before and wake up to a ready-made treat that boasts old-fashioned oats, dates and chopped almonds.
Pancakes are a surefire hit, but the conventional recipe overloads on sugar and simple carbs. Try this three-ingredient alternative for a protein- and fiber-rich meal to send kids on their way satisfied. Skip the syrup, and top with fresh fruit and a dash of powdered sugar.