I’m always looking for easy, healthy meals I can make at a moment’s notice (emphasis on the easy). Breakfast in particular needs to be easy, because let’s face it, mornings just aren’t my favorite time of day.
Admittedly, sometimes I just resort to “healthy” boxed cereal or a banana with peanut butter because it doesn’t require too much coordination or bright light. But the mom-guilt is strong and I know I really need to make more of an effort to get healthy food into my kids’ bodies. So I’m going to share with you a couple of my favorite easy go-to breakfasts. Not only are they healthy, they’re also kid-approved.
Now you might laugh at think, really? Kid approved? Well, I’ll be honest with you…if you’re kids are used to Pop-tarts, Toaster Strudels, and Captain Crunch for breakfast, oatmeal might be a difficult transition. Fortunately, there are several ways you can make this kitchen staple delicious AND keep it nutritious.
I prefer to use Old-Fashioned or Rolled Oats as they are less processed than Quick Oats, resulting in a slightly thicker consistency (although not as thick as steel-cut oats). Rolled oats have a 5 minute cook time and are definitely within my quick and easy guidelines for breakfast. You can boil them with water OR milk although you’ll have to keep an eye on the milk so it doesn’t scald.
Optional add-ins for tastiness:
- Brown Sugar
- Honey – local raw is best!
- Peanut Butter – we love pb powder as it mixes in nicely without clumping
- Fruit – raisins, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
Nutritional add-ins that your kids won’t realize are there:
- Chia Seeds – a healthy fat (helps you absorb nutrients), excellent source of magnesium, protein, AND potassium 5 grams of protein per 2 Tbsp
- Hemp Seeds – a great source of protein, a healthy fat, rich in iron and magnesium 12 grams of protein per 3 Tbsp
- Flax Meal – Omega 3 essential fatty acids, healthy fat 3 grams of protein per 2 Tbsp
- Wheat Germ – High in vitamin E, fiber and healthy fats 4 grams of protein per 2 Tbsp
- Superfood Powder – 7 leafy greens, 14 wholesome fruits & 11 nutrient-rich veggies
2. Banana Pancakes
These banana pancakes are simple, easy, and fast! Plus they’re gluten-free! All you need are bananas (ripe ones), eggs, and baking powder. (Add in cinnamon for extra yumminess)
Start by breaking two eggs and whisking them together with the baking powder. Next you’ll need to mash up those ripe bananas. You’ll want just enough bananas that the egg mixture holds them together. Combine everything together and let them sit a moment so the baking powder activates, making your pancakes fluffy. Now, in a hot skillet take 1-2 tablespoons of banana batter and make your pancakes. Honestly, the smaller pancakes are so much easier to flip. Plus, kids love “kid-sized” pancakes. Serve with butter, maple syrup and blueberries for a super yummy (and easy) breakfast.
I love smoothies. They’re delicious, nutritious, and they’re so easy to make. Just like oatmeal, there are so many things you can add to increase the nutritional value (chia seeds, flax meal, Green Superfood Powder, etc). Smoothies are a great way to sneak in some fruits and veggies your kids wouldn’t normally eat. With a good blender like this one (the one we have) they’ll never know you snuck some spinach in there! We like to buy lots of strawberries and blueberries on sale and freeze them for smoothies. Also, when our bananas start to over ripen we just peel them and freeze them, making them great smoothie add-ins! With enough frozen fruits and veggies, you won’t even need ice in your smoothie. Here’s one tried and true recipe my kids love:
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
Yields: 2 servings
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ripe banana
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 large frozen strawberries
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon of honey, or to taste
- 1/2 rolled oats
I recommend blending the oats, spinach and milk first, then adding the rest. Serve and enjoy!
4. Greek Yogurt, Granola and Fruit
When it comes to yogurt, there are a LOT of options. You’ll find that most of the “kid-friendly” store-bought options are basically powerhouses for sugar and food coloring and contain almost no nutritional value. Greek Yogurt, on the other hand, is packed with nutrients, protein, probiotics, calcium, B12, and potassium (just to name a few). The best yogurt is the plain, unsweetened, low-fat, kind with the least amount of additives, so ignore the cartoon characters on the packages and look for plain or vanilla greek yogurt. Our favorite brands are Chobani and Stoneybrook.
To dress up your yogurt you can add your favorite fruits like strawberries and blueberries. If you like a little crunch, add some healthy granola. Granola is a mixture of oats, nuts and seeds and packed with nutrients. We’ve made our own several times and the kids love it!
5. Peanut Butter Waffle Sandwiches
We love to grab whole grain waffles whenever we’re at Aldi’s. They’re perfect for mornings when we just don’t have time for messes. So I’ll slather some peanut butter in the middle, wrap it in a paper towel and out we go! If you’re not a peanut butter fan, try jelly or honey. Mini waffles also work really well for dipping, making banana sandwiches, creative face art, etc.
Many convenience foods are loaded with sugar and lacking significantly in proper vitamins, minerals and nutritional value. Understanding the impact sugar and food coloring can have on the body will play a large role in motivating any parent to make better food choices for their children. Hopefully the ideas I’ve given you will show you that healthy doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Consistent steps forward, even small ones, are still improvement! Good luck!