These budget-friendly breakfast ideas will get your whole family fueled up for the day ahead
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Starting the day with a healthy meal keeps children’s physical and mental energy on track so they are better prepared to face the rigors of the schoolroom. While it’s important for kids to eat breakfast, what they eat is equally important. Protein, whole grains, calcium, and fiber help keep young students focused and alert.
Fortunately, homemade breakfast can be made from ingredients that are better for your children than processed foods and save you money at the same time--have you ever noticed how expensive those sugary cereals and frozen breakfast biscuits are? So-called "health foods" are pricey, but you don't have to spend big bucks at the gourmet market to start your kids' day off right. These budget-friendly breakfast ideas will get your whole family fueled up for the day ahead, whether they're at the table or in the car.
Whole-Grain French Toast
Whip up a batch of whole-wheat French toast and top with fresh fruit, like strawberries and blueberries, for a balanced breakfast that will fill up even the choosiest eaters. Use syrup in moderation. This meal provides a healthy dose of fiber, protein, vitamins C and B6, omega-3 fatty acids and other powerful antioxidants that help protect against disease.
Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables
Mix your favorite breakfast ingredient (eggs!) with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or spinach for a quick, veggie-intensive breakfast that’s easy on your wallet. This meal is a powerful one-two punch of protein and essential vitamins (A, B6, C, E, and K), giving your kids vital nutrients to maintain strong, healthy bodies.
Egg and Tomato Sandwich
Top an egg-covered whole-wheat English muffin with tangy tomato slices for an affordable source of vitamin C and carotenoids.
Skip instant oatmeal and buy a container of steel-cut or old-fashioned oats for your morning breakfast routine. These less processed oats are high in calcium, fiber and protein. Top with low-fat milk, fresh fruit and honey to give your kids a warm, healthy and budget-friendly meal.
Not only are smoothies a quick and easy option, if you add the right ingredients they are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients. Try a strawberry, banana and kale smoothie for a tasty morning treat. Kale is very high in protein and fiber while low in calories, making it one of the healthiest foods available (and it’s very affordable at approximately $2 per bunch).
Hard Boiled Eggs
Boil eggs the night before school for a quick and easy meal on the go, just be sure to peel the eggs before heading out the door. On average, eggs are affordable at $2-$3 per dozen. Eggs contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral vital to the human body, but are especially high in B2 and selenium—just remind your kids to eat the yolk where most of these important nutrients are found.
Store-bought muffins often contain high amounts of sugar, and lack vitamins and other nutrients important for kids. Make healthy zucchini or strawberry and banana muffins ahead of time to give your kids a perfectly portable breakfast bursting with fiber, manganese, and vitamins A and C. The best part about these muffins is that you likely have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Mix low-fat plain yogurt with a fruit of your choice, almond slices and honey. Prepare the night before for an easy meal on the way to school. Large containers of plain yogurt are more cost effective than single serve containers; fruit can be purchased on sale or from the freezer section to keep costs low. Almonds can be replaced with a less expensive nut or granola. Combine this delectable medley to fortify your kids with calcium and L-ascorbic acid for strong teeth, bones and ligaments.
Homemade Granola Bars
Get the kids involved one weekend and make a big batch of healthy, homemade granola bars; they are a delicious source of iron and calcium. While some of the ingredients may be specialty items, these granola bars will save time and money if you buy the oats in bulk. Double the recipe for an extra large batch, then wrap into individual servings, and enjoy the convenience of a grab-and-go bar every day.
These inexpensive breakfasts give kids the stamina to listen, learn and concentrate.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.