You’ve probably heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but with the morning time crunch, creating a healthy family breakfast can be challenging. Research shows eating a healthy breakfast can help improve mental performance, concentration, mood, and weight maintenance. The key to a healthy breakfast is having some fiber and protein for sustained energy. Try these easy kid-friendly breakfast ideas for a back to school boost that will fuel the whole family.
1Shake it up
Short on time and rushing the kids out the door? A smoothie is a kid-friendly nutritious option that can be taken to go. Almost any combo of 100 percent fruit juice, yogurt and fruit works well, along with some ice. Add in some flax seeds or chia seeds for added nutrition. On mornings when using a blender becomes too challenging, a Svelte shake makes for a tasty and healthy on-the-go breakfast option. Svelte packs 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in each eco-friendly container.
2Mini bagel pizza
While you may not think of pizza as a healthy way to start the day, you can take a healthy spin on this greasy favorite for your morning meal. Top one side of a whole wheat bagel with olive oil, diced tomatoes and mozzarella. Place in a broiler or toaster oven until the bagel is crispy and the cheese is melted. Kids love the idea of pizza for breakfast, and the combination of healthy carbs and protein will keep them fueled until lunch. Pair with fresh fruit like a pear or peach for added fiber and nutrients.
There is no rule that says only breakfast foods are for breakfast. A healthy and hearty chicken wrap can be a perfect on-the-go morning choice. Wrap fresh or left over chicken with veggies in a whole grain tortilla. Add some cheese if you like for flavor and protein.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a high-protein breakfast may prevent unhealthy snacking later in the day. The study finds that those who incorporate protein into their morning meal are likely to feel fuller and improve their overall diet quality. If you don’t have chicken, substitute whatever protein you have on hand. Turkey, tuna, or even beans work great.
4Pistachios and fruit
If you’re rushed at breakfast time, remember starting your day healthy isn’t limited to traditional breakfast foods. Try grabbing a handful of pistachios and a piece of fruit on your way out the door for a nutrient-packed way to get your day started. Sounds nuts? A small, randomized study found that eating whole nuts at breakfast kept blood sugar down and feelings of fullness up through to the second meal of the day. Up the convenience factor by packing pistachios and fruit in a bag the night before, so you can grab and go in the morning.
Breakfast tacos can be a healthy and portable morning meal for the whole family. Similar to a breakfast burrito, stuff your taco with a scrambled egg, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, salsa, and avocado for a healthy and delicious start to your day. Go for corn tortillas, which have half the calories and twice the fiber of flour tortillas. With just the right balance of carbs, protein, fat, and fiber, this powerhouse breakfast will surely keep you energized and satisfied until lunchtime.
6Veggie and cheese omelet
A vegetable omelet is a quick and easy source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients such as vitamin D. Plus, packing your omelet with spinach, mushrooms and peppers is an easy way to sneak in extra veggies. A study in International Journal of Obesity reported that participants who consumed eggs for breakfast (compared to those who consumed bagels) lost more weight, had a lower BMI, and experienced a greater reduction in waist circumference. If time is really tight, wrap it in a whole-grain tortilla and take it to go.
If you’re on the go, an energy or granola bar may seem like a “better than nothing” breakfast choice. But with literally dozens of brands to choose from in a variety of flavors, which do you choose? Your best bet is to look for bars with “whole” ingredients (whole soy, fruit, and nuts, for example) that provide at least 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Top choices for bars with “whole” ingredients include SoyJoy, Larabar and KIND. For a fun twist, heat a SoyJoy bar in the microwave for 20 seconds, and it tastes like a warm cookie; the banana tastes like warm banana bread.
8Peanut butter and banana waffle
Kids love waffles, and now there are healthy, whole grain frozen options to make the morning rush easier. Skip the butter and maple syrup toppings and instead opt for a whole grain waffle topped with natural peanut butter (or almond butter) and banana slices. For some added sweetness, drizzle a bit of honey on top. Pair with a glass of calcium-fortified 100 percent orange juice for added nutrition, and this morning meal is sure to please.