I am sure us parents are well aware of the research that confirms breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children, but it is always useful to have a reminder isn’t it? Apparently it is really important to establish good breakfast habits in childhood.
“Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper”. This ancient proverb makes complete sense as we need the most energy at the beginning of the day, and the least energy at the end.
Breakfast provides so many benefits to health and well being. It provides the body and brain with fuel after the overnight fast (break-fast). It can provide the energy, nutrients, protein and fibre that are needed after a night’s sleep. Eating breakfast has been proven to improve a child’s academic achievement, cognitive development and even their mental health.
Any breakfast is apparently better than none, although we want to be ensuring that our children start the day off well by providing them with a healthy and varied one. Just think of breakfast as a meal like any other meal and offer your child something healthy to eat. I have been finding out what some of the best options are. We are now much more aware of the huge amount of sugar that is contained in a lot of breakfast cereal. Having been brought up on cereal and toast, adapting is not always easy!
With four children myself, I know how difficult it can be to have the time in the morning, during the madness of the getting ready for school rush, to spend any amount of time on preparing breakfast! Anyway, I have come up with some quick and healthy options you may like to try.
Five healthy breakfast ideas :
Eggs are a good breakfast option, they’re nature’s perfect food as they are packed with great nutrition including essential vitamins, minerals and protein. I know that unfortunately, some children are allergic to eggs but there are plenty of other alternatives.
- poach an egg and serve it in an avocado
- bake in ramekins and add fresh herbs
- good old boiled egg with soldiers
- vegetable omelette
- fried egg sandwich
- Eggs in a pepper
Oats are filled with complex carbohydrates, which are a great source of energy, and high in fibre, which is good for digestion. They are a great food to start a child’s day. They are also reasonably cheap. Many people add sweet toppings to their oats but what about savoury? Oats are so versatile. Why not experiment with oats and come up with your own toppings?
- Cook the oats according to the instructions (you can even microwave oats with water) and then stir in your child’s favourite savoury combinations!
- Stick an egg on top or stir in sauteed vegetables.
- Try adding avocado or cheese, not forgetting of course to stir in some fresh herbs. Some herbs lend themselves well – basil and tomato oats, bacon, cheese and chive oats or coriander in an oats masala.
I know – this sounds like a nightmare to prepare for breakfast! But, for those of you lucky enough to have a Slow Cooker it is so easy! Make it the night before and wake up to a ready made breakfast!
- All you have to do is layer these ingredients: ham (or browned sausage),frozen potatoes, onions, green pepper and cheese. Repeat two more times, ending with a layer of cheese. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour mixture over layers. Cover and cook on low overnight. Voila! Easily adaptable to put in your child’s favourite things.
Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods. The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit. It is full of nutrients, many of which are lacking in the modern diet. It contains so many vitamins and minerals, fibre and good fats. It can provide children with the energy that they will need for the day.
- Mash up the avocado: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit and, with a large spoon, scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Add some coriander and lime juice. Mash with a fork until smooth, with a few chunks of avocado. This can then be spread onto bread, toast, wraps etc.
- Stick a fried or poached egg in it!
Things to make and freeze at the weekend
Spend a little time over the weekend baking with your little sous chefs, not only saving time on a stressful school morning but hopefully encouraging the little ones to want to eat the healthy breakfast that they helped make! Win, win!!
Check out other ideas on my Pinterest board.
Are you stuck in a breakfast rut? Would you consider offering other things for your children at breakfast time? Please let me know your thoughts.