Back to school is upon us, which means it’s time to start exercising your creative culinary brain to keep your picky eaters happy. Although lunch and dinner are super important, there’s something special about ensuring your kiddos start the school-day off on the right foot.
It’s all too easy to resort to the parental defaults like that trusty bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Eggo waffles, but let’s be honest … they are packed with sugar and provide minimal nutritional value when their growing minds are starving for some real brain fuel.
So, in celebration of the new school year and one of our registered dietitians' favorite holidays—September’s Build a Better Breakfast Day—here’s a snackable list of fun breakfast ideas that incorporate healthier ingredients into your children’s most important meal of the day.
Each of these recipes include nutrient-rich fruits and veggies with the added benefit of your child never knowing they’re actually eating them. We can almost guarantee that they’ll leave an empty plate behind feeling full and fueled.
Fiber-Frenzied Blueberry Smoothie
Smoothies are made up of universally-simple recipe ideas, especially when it comes to breakfast. Just throw in those ingredients and watch them blend together, right? Unfortunately, the “hard” part is coming up with creative ways to involve fiber.
50 percent of children do not get an adequate amount of fiber in their diets by no fault of their own. This simple recipe is a the delicious fiber fix they need:
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (3.8 grams of fiber)
- 1 whole over-ripe banana (3.1 grams of fiber)
- 1 cup fresh spinach (.7 grams of fiber)
- ⅔ cup 1% milk
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1-2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. ground flax seed (2.8 grams of fiber)
Add all of the above ingredients into a blender, and puree until smooth.
Balanced-Breakfast Banana Pops
Bananas are a fan-favorite among breakfast connoisseurs. We use them in oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, and – yes, dip them in peanut butter. And for those of you who aren’t aware of this trick, you’re welcome. In our experience, you can increase your chances of getting your children to eat something healthy if you put it on a stick!
Bananas have never been so fun to eat, you might even get your children to help you make the treats as a family project.
Ingredients (2 bananas make 3 pops):
- Yogurt of your choice
- Granola of your choice, or crushed graham crackers
- Potential add-on ingredients: mini chocolate chips, coconut shreds, cinnamon sugar, etc.
- Popsicle sticks to insert in the bananas
Pour granola (or crushed graham crackers) into a very shallow dish or plate. Peel bananas, cut them in half, and insert popsicle sticks. Dip each banana on a stick in yogurt (or coat them with a knife), then roll each banana into granola or other add-ons. Once you’ve dipped your bananas on a stick into these delicious ingredients, place them on parchment paper on a tray and freeze. Once the ingredients are frozen together, they’re ready to eat!
Grab ‘n’ Go Frozen Breakfast Burritos
It’s pretty safe to say that one of the major obstacles of creating nutritious yet delicious breakfast for our children is having the energy to do so at 6 or 7 a.m. before school.
Here’s the solution: easy, frozen breakfast burritos. Whip them up the night before while you’re not half asleep and stick them in the freezer to simply grab while you run out the door the next morning.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 8 large eggs (scrambled)
- ½ cup salsa (optional)
- 2 cups grated cheese of your choice
- 8-10 burrito-size whole wheat tortillas
- Cook the veggies: Heat olive oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, broccoli, and salt and pepper. Cook vegetables in skillet until they soften.
- Scramble the eggs: Whisk eggs together in a bowl. Melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the whisked eggs and cook until set.
- Once scrambled, stir the eggs and salsa into the large pot of vegetables.
- Wrap the burritos (watch video in link to see how to wrap): Place ½ cup of egg and veggie mix slightly below the center of each tortilla. Add ¼ cup of cheese, and then wrap tortilla.
- Freeze: Once cool, pace burritos in a zip-top bag and seal. Now you can store them in the freezer for up to two months!
If you remember, you can begin thawing the frozen burritos the night before by placing them in the refrigerator. If you forget to thaw the night before, no worries! First use the defrost (or very low) setting on your microwave to thaw. Then, heat on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until hot.
There you have it. Three super simple and healthy options to celebrate Build a Better Breakfast Day and start the school year building healthy dietary habits. If you like these recipe ideas, leave us a star rating below, and share your favorite healthy breakfast recipe with us.