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New breakfast ideas for kids

My kids are getting tired of cereal (hot and cold) and I would like them to eat healthy breakfasts. They are also not in love with eggs (except hard boiled).

Something with fiber and/or protein would be at the top of my list. We are always rushing in the morning before school, so if it can be easily prepared or make-ahead, even better!

Thanks!

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  1. My fifteen year old's preference is for oat bran pumpkin muffins (adapted from "Joan's Pumpkin Bread" from an old Bon Appetit.) That, or a similar banana bread, and a yogurt satisfies us both pretty well. In the warmer months he may switch off to yogurt smoothies made with frozen strawberries/bananas/whatever I have on hand and, sometimes, protein powder.

    The 2 year old likes peas with parmesan cheese.

    Heck, she told Santa last night that she wanted a bag of frozen peas for Christmas. Oddly enough, he said she was the first to ask for that all day.

    4 Replies
    1. re: BarefootandPregnant

      I made ww pumpkin muffins last night (okay, I added a few choc chips to entice)but they were a big hit!

      1. re: chocolate chick

        I LOVE WW pumpkin muffins! They really got me through my sweet tooth cravings when I was on the program. Might need to dig up the recipe since I've gained a few lbs. Not sure if I can find it though (it's been a few years). Anyway you can post it here?

        1. re: sheilal

          I'm sorry, when I said "ww", I meant whole wheat, not weight watchers. Sorry for the mix up.

        2. re: chocolate chick

          Oh, I am so glad. I had forgotten to say that I often use white whole wheat flour.

          One thing I have found helpful in feeding the kids in general is to think less about the names, or usual menu categories, and more about the ingredients/specific nutrient balances. The result is that I think I have had a lot less stress in feeding the kids-and both are pretty open minded eaters.

      2. How about baked oatmeal? You can make it ahead and microwave in the morning (or just eat cold).

        http://www.recipezaar.com/117211

        1. My 17 yr old was sick of the cereal thing so she decide to try some granola & she loves it. She packs some in a ziploc bag for snacking as well. What she likes most is I found a recipe for her to make on her own & she can add whatever she likes to it. She can switch with flavored honey or use maple syrup or pretty much whatever she wants. She also likes that she can control how sweet it is. She's not a huge fan of those sugary sweet cereals.

          My 9 yr old however loves muffins. So I'll get a basic muffin recipe(sometimes I'll sub half of the flour with whole wheat flour) and we'll make them together and she can add what flavor she wants. Apples,bananas..etc. freeze them. You can pull however many you'll be eating the night before.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sugarbuzz

            I used to love making my own granola variations as a teen. My favorite was peanut butter granola - substituting peanut butter for the sweetener. Hope she has fun.

            1. re: clamscasino

              can't get my kids to eat granola. I'm trying.

          2. At my house, we all enjoy yogurt and add fresh fruit, nuts, jam, applesauce, canned pineapple..etc. to it each morning.

            Smoothies are easy and healthy. Easy to control ingre.

            Bananas & peanut butter sandwiches

            4 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              We also do smoothies sometimes. If you have a favorite one, let me know.

              1. re: chocolate chick

                chockchick (love the name btw),
                right now our fav is pomp juice, soy milk, flax powder and a banana.

                but our ultimate (produce in season) is watermelon, pear and vanilla yogurt.

                How about you?

                1. re: HillJ

                  by pomp juice, you mean pomegranite? sounds super healthy. I will try it. We are pretty simple with our smoothies...banana, non fat stonyfield yogurt, milk and either PB or a touch of honey. Do you buy flax powder or grind the seeds yourself?

                  1. re: chocolate chick

                    Yes, pomegranite juice, marvelous stuff.
                    Yes on flax seed, grind ours in a coffee grinder (whirly gig model) and store in refrig for monthly use.

            2. Refried beans with cheese and a tortilla and salsa. And maybe veggies.

              Any other food the kid likes and is healthy. No need to limit to traditional breakfast items.

              But then, I used to eat kimchee on matzo for breakfast. Fiber but little protein.

              3 Replies
              1. re: lintygmom

                Second on the beans-and-cheese; my eldest loved quesadillas for breakfast. Good dose of protein, then add whatever fresh stuff your child will eat.
                My daughter loves baguettes with some olive oil, and proscuitto if we have it. Stinky cheese is always a bonus. Round out with fruit or juice.

                Maybe your kids are more into the savory flavors than the sweet (and American food producers pander to "sweet" in their kid-oriented breakfast foods, IMO) Maybe even give them a reheat of last night's entree? As lintygmom said, no need to limit the selection.

                Good luck with the kids - as you expose them to more and more options, the more adventurous they may become.

                1. re: cayjohan

                  I like how everyone is thinking out of the box. thanks for all the suggestions!

                  1. re: cayjohan

                    my daughter is way more into savory and ITA that american food producers pander to sweet. quesadillas are a great idea! if it's got a tomato-based sauce and is on the spicy side i can pretty much guarantee isadora will eat it!
                    i also love the baguette with prosuitto and stinky cheese. sounds like something my daughter would woof down. probably sans the baguet, though...she's not so into bread, believe it or not.

                2. Sweet:

                  "Banana splits" made with sliced banana, Greek yogurt, honey and toasted nuts.

                  Apple crumble (made with rolled oats and only a little fat/sugar). Baked apples work too.

                  "Cheese danish" made with ww flatbread, lowfat cottage cheese and berry compote, broiled.

                  WW tortilla spread with peanut butter and wrapped around a banana.

                  Mashed sweet potato with cinnamon and a dollop of yogurt.

                  Ww couscous cooked with fruit juice, raisins and nuts.

                  Savoury:

                  Pizza made with ww pita and lowfat cheese.

                  Grilled polenta with spinach/greens and tomato sauce.

                  Congee.

                  Stir-fried brown rice with veggies and egg/tofu.

                  Sushi. Even better with miso.

                  Falafel (baked if possible).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: piccola

                    Piccola, I love your sweet ideas! I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know what congee is and my kids like some japanese foods, but aren't ready for sushi.

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: chocolate chick

                      Congee is basically rice porridge. It tastes like what you put in it.

                      I didn't think I'd like sushi for breakfast until I tried it. I eat the veggie kind, so maybe that's the difference. (Inari sushi and the omelet rolls are my breakkie faves.)

                      1. re: piccola

                        How do you keep the rice from drying out overnight? Can't buy it in the morning and it would be a bitch to get up and make.

                        1. re: lintygmom

                          Well, if I eat sushi in the morning, it's leftovers from the night before, so it's not that dried out. Or at least, not enough to prevent me from eating it. But to answer your question - wrapped in plastic (as opposed to a tupperware container).

                          1. re: piccola

                            If you're going to eat the sushi the next morning, don't refrigerate it. This does not apply to sushi with sashimi, however.

                  2. We like cottage cheese or ricotta pancakes over here. You can keep the batter in the fridge for a few days, or cook up the whole batch and then reheat a portion at a time.

                    Roughly:

                    -a pound of small-curd cottage or a 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese (it's really more delicious with ricotta)
                    -4 to 6 eggs
                    -1 to 1 1/2 cups w/w flour (I like King Arthur w/w pastry flour)
                    -some liquid to thin it, either milk or juice (orange juice and zest is delicious)
                    -a pinch of salt
                    -1 t baking powder if you feel like it
                    -things to make it taste even better, like vanilla, maybe 2-4T sugar, spices, the aforementioned citrus element

                    Mix.

                    Fry.

                    Hope you like it!

                    1. I have discovered a yeasted waffle recipe from Cook's Magazine. Make the batter the night before, let it rise slowly in the fridge overnight, and make the waffles in the morning. This is great for a weekend morning, when I have time to cut up some fresh fruit and make whipped cream. Yum! But the bonus is to make a triple recipe and freeze the extras in ziplocks. They freeze well and go right into the toaster over for a hot, homemade breakfast in seconds.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Ringo33

                        Oooh, sounds great, can you post? How is the taste different from regular waffles?

                        1. re: chocolate chick

                          They are seriously excellent. They are light and crispy. The tase has a bit of a yeasty tang. Cook's magazine sent me a sample issue with this recipe in it. Never subscribed, but I make these all the time. Cook's Magazine, if you've never seen it, is like a science lab for recipes. They concluded that if you make the yeasted batter in the morning, it does not have time to rise. I believe you can find the recipe on line. I make it the night before, let it rise for 30-45 minutes, then put the bowl in the fridge.(Leave enough room in the bowl for rising!) I make the batter without the egg whites and in the morning, beat the whites till stiff and fold them in. Super fluffy waffles. It's great when we have guests, because I can get up in the morning and start making waffles with all the mixing done ahead of time.

                      2. Fruit salad is a big hit with my nieces/nephews, as are chunky pb and all-fruit on wheat. They also enjoy leftover pizza slices on occasion--I try to push veggie-heavy toppings and when I'm making it, do a whole wheat crust.

                        Nephew #4, being trendy, likes anything that smacks of intrigue and foreign lands. We give him greek yogurt (tends to be lower sugar, too), exotic fruits (easy to find if your locale has a large Hispanic/Asian/any ethnic community), bagels with hummus, curried scrambled eggs. He's even tried vegemite on toast and claimed he loved it (I like it because it's salty but perhaps he was just being brave).

                        1. I'll make waffles and pancakes en masse over the weekend and then freeze them and heat in the toaster oven weekdays. Pancakes are good with additions like corn, grated zucchini, diced apples, bananas. Chocolate chip waffles (OK, not exactly healthy, but better than most sweet cereals or frozen waffles from the supermarket). In the summer, fruit and yogurt smoothies. When it's cold, steel cut oats with apples and cinnamon made in a big batch in the electric rice cooker rigged to a timer to start an hour before we get up. I got swept up in the Bittman/Lahey bread craze and use the leftovers in the morning to make sandwiches in a sandwich press. Usually ham-n-cheddar or (skip the rest of this sentence, health nuts) bittersweet chocolate. My kids like fried egg sandwiches. I like omelets filled with chard or spinach.

                          1. My youngest daughter lived through a European vacation eating turkey sandwiches almost every morning for breakfast. She is not into traditional "breakfast" food and has lactose issues, so dairy is a big no no. She also makes herself grilled cheese (special lactose free cheese) for breakfast. The turkey sandwich varies, sometimes with a flour burrito, sometimes a corn tortilla, etc. Not everyone needs to eat a traditional American breakfast. I keep a big Tupperware in the fridge with sliced mixed fruit, so she can grab a fruit salad whenever. She is fond of the long cooking oatmeal, so it's strictly a weekend treat. I used to make hard cooked egg sandwiches with mayo on whole wheat toast for her, but that hasn't been requested in a while. She, too, isn't into eggs.

                            1. What about homemade McMuffins or other kinds of breakfast sandwiches? If they're not into eggs, just leave them out, but you could do whole wheat or whole grain english muffins with some cheese and turkey sausage patties, and that would give you the whole grains and the protein. If you wanted something on the sweeter side, I'm a big fan of the whole grain english muffins (and I'm hard to please with regard to whole grain breads) with cream cheese and honey.

                              1. The OP stated that her kids don't like eggs, but I've been enjoying this thread so much I just have to put my two cents in. If you do a fritatta, you can keep days worth of breakfasts in pie wedges in glad ware ready to be zapped, oven-heated or eaten cold. All kinds of veggies go into my toddler before 9AM....roasted bell pepper, spinach, cauliflower, green beans, peas....and yum it up according to taste - ham, turkey, cheese...we use 'em in moderation.

                                Also, just to pipe in about savory breakfasts...since traveling extensively in Scandanavia, mornings mostly mean bread and cold cuts to me. A slice of toasted whole grain bread, a piece of ham/turkey/smoked or cured salmon, some tomato, cucumber or red bell pepper thinly sliced...also, we have been enjoying fresh pear slices with a seeded cracker topped with stinky cheese, and now I must and will add prosciutto....most cereals and muffins seem like dessert to me lately, although that whole wheat pumpkin thing is going to get a shot here!

                                1. I just made this baked oatmeal last night and the kids loved it! Served with some cold milk on top, it's really much nicer than cereal.

                                  http://www.recipezaar.com/30954

                                  1. Growing up we often ate ricotta for breakfast, either with a bowl and spoon or spread on toast (bruschetta).

                                    -sweetened with a bit of sugar or honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon
                                    -with chopped pistachios and a little bit of chocolate
                                    -with finely chopped citron, orange peel or crystallized ginger

                                    Try biscotti for a light, grab and go breakfast. Not chocolate dipped extravangances but plain biscuits. Regina (plain vanilla cookie with sesame seeds) taralli (with fennel seeds or cracked pepper). Find a traditional Italian bakery and you will be well rewarded.

                                    1. When my daughter was about 10 she decided she "hated" breakfast, but I wouldn't let her go to school without eating so she's have leftovers. She particularly loved leftover pasta.
                                      The other thing she loved was pie for breakfast, but I only let her have that the day after Thanksgiving...
                                      By the way, she's just as strict about breakfast with my granddaughter--but they love meals like mozzarella sticks. dried apricots and some bread sticks; open face ham sandwiches; pb and j.

                                      1. I was always more into savory breakfast and my mom would always have leftovers in the fridge. One thing I loved was leftover soup with rice stirred into it and heated up (can be done in a microwave) - which is essentally like cantonese congee.
                                        Along the same lines, any soup with some crusty bread dunked into it make pretty good breakfast.
                                        Boiled eggs, sliced, makes good tea sandwiches when paired with veggies and bread. So does cheese and jam. And flatbread with different toppings.
                                        Previous suggestion of refried beans is a great idea too, I love it as a breakfast burrito.
                                        Couscous is also fast and can be delicious. I usually eat it with cumin, nuts, herbs, etc. It can also be eaten sweet like oatmeal if you like that.
                                        One of my fav is scallion pancake, it can be made ahead and reheated easily.
                                        I really dont think there is any limitation as long as it taste good and is real food, not just kellogs and fruit punch stuff (sorry but Kellogg never filled me when I was growing up, I hated it b/c i would literally go hungry in 30 min. thank god my mom finally stopped buying cereal).

                                        1. The kids I used to babysit for loved taking a banana, spreading natural peanut butter on it, and then rolling the result in granola. It was one of their favorite breakfasts.

                                          How about onigiri? You can make those in advance, and they can be eaten on the run. They're great if your child likes rice. Also you can add the fillings they like best. I like onigiri with a bit of cooked chicken or smoked salmon in the middle. Since I really like sour things I love the ones with pickled plum in them. I also like to roll mine in toasted sesame seeds, or wrap them in nori.

                                          I'm a big fan of tomato soup and a toasted cheese sandwich for breakfast, especially in the winter when it's cold. Any kind of not-too chunky soup really. I just heat it, and put it in my travel cup to sip on my way to work.

                                          Cottage cheese and berries with a touch of honey is also good and filling. Since berries aren't in season right now, I use the ones stashed in my freezer.

                                          Pop a sweet potato in the microwave and serve it hot topped with cottage cheese, a teaspoon or so of maple syrup and cinnamon.

                                          1. I'm probably going to be seconding a lot of the given recs, but here goes...

                                            Breakfast burritos- I know they don't love eggs, but they get hidden inside
                                            Scooped bagel toasted with melted cheese, filled with a little cottage cheese and salsa
                                            Whole wheat waffles spread with pb and j
                                            Oatmeal pancakes- made the night before then reheat in toaster
                                            Blintzes are fun but more time consuming obviously, unless you pre-make crepes (I make mine out of eggwhites, but that's cause I'm a health loon), then fill in the morning and quickly heat and brown
                                            Hummus and Pita- easy to do in the car too with tupperware
                                            As suggested, quesadillas are great
                                            Plain yogurt sweetened or just vanilla with applesauce on top
                                            Grilled fruit skewers (prep the night before, griddle in the morning) with cottage cheese or yogurt
                                            Grilled cheese on whole wheat with low-fat cheese if desired
                                            Crumbled veggie burgers with salsa and cheese
                                            Overnight french toast that gets prepped before then baked as you dress
                                            Pre-made Pasta Salad
                                            Sweet Couscous Salad-- I make mine with coucous, vanilla, sweetener, cinnamon, a little lemon juice, and some dried apple pieces

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Emme

                                              If they _really_ don't like eggs, you can make breakkie burritos with just potatoes, beans and veggies.

                                              This morning, I finished off some Indian food - no spicy dishes - for breakfast. I had some baked vegetarian samosas and some idli (lentil dumplings) in yogurt sauce. Yum. But I could see other Indian foods for breakfast - daal, dosas, biryani rice (make sure you get one that's not soaked in ghee), and that naan bread that's stuffed with nuts and fruit.