Your children need to eat breakfast to get a jump-start on their day and to keep them alert and energized through lunchtime. Yet, mornings aren’t exactly your children’s favorite time of the day, and you often have to focus more on getting them out of bed and out the door, rather than putting healthy fuel in their stomachs. When it comes to weekday morning breakfasts, think quick, healthy and portable.
Cream Cheese Toast
While your child is buttoning his school uniform or brushing his hair or teeth, pop two pieces of wheat or other whole grain bread in the toaster. Toasted bread is a lot less dense and has fewer calories than a bagel. Whole grain toast will give your child the fiber he needs. Once lightly toasted, spread about 1/2 oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese on each slice. Press together to make a sandwich. Feel free to add some child-safe vegetables to the center of the sandwich, whatever your child will eat. Place in a resealable plastic bag, and hand it to your child as he dashes out the door. Use cream cheese because it has the protein your child needs to start his day right.
Mixed Fruit and Yogurt
Since it’s sweet, a lot of children love fruit. They tend to love it even more if it is cut into bite-sized pieces. The night before, slice cantaloupe or honeydew and store in the refrigerator. The next morning, toss the melon with some grapes, berries and orange slices. Measure 1 cup into a to-go plastic container and serve it to your child with a cup of yogurt.
Give your child his fruit in drinkable form. You can prepare the smoothie ingredients the night before, and simply press “Puree” on your blender in the morning. Pour 1/2 cup orange or pomegranate juice into a blender jar. Add 1/2 cup plain yogurt or soy milk. Slice one banana and add to the jar, then add about 1 cup of frozen fruit, such as mango chunks, strawberries or blueberries. Let stand in the refrigerator overnight, so that the fruit thaws, and then puree in the morning and serve.
While it may not be as portable as some breakfasts, an egg wrap is still quick to prepare and provides plenty of protein. Scramble an egg or two, then place in a flour tortilla. Add any toppings your child likes, such as peppers, onions or salsa. Wrap the tortilla around the contents, and serve.
Lucky you if your child will eat oatmeal. Serve this classic hot breakfast on wintry school mornings. Skip the instant oatmeal sold in packets, as it tends to be loaded with sugar and funny-tasting flavorings. Since regular oatmeal can take awhile to cook, you may want to start preparing it the night before. Boil 3 cups of water, then add 1 cup of regular, quick cooking or steel-cut oatmeal. Bring the oats and water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the oats are soft and chewy. Store in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat one serving in the microwave the next day, adding in milk if you would like. Sweeten with sugar or maple syrup, or top with fruit.