Preparing healthy breakfast meals for children is simpler than most people think. Over the last 20 years, convenience breakfast foods like super sweet cereal and Pop Tarts have contributed to the obesity crisis in children. Foods like these are laden with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and empty calories. While they are easy to prepare, there are quick breakfast recipes for kids, which are a much healthier option.
Steel cut oatmeal is a quick healthy breakfast that can be prepared in bulk and last for a dozen meals.
In a slow cooker combine 2 cups steel cut oats, 2 cups dried cranberries, 2 cups dried figs, 8 cups of water and 1 cup of half and half. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 9 hours or overnight on the low heat setting. Let the oatmeal cool in the slow cooker. Take small plastic containers and measure out 1 and ½ cups of the oatmeal into each container. Store in the refrigerator, every time you want to serve a quick healthy breakfast for kids, take a container; add a tablespoon of milk and microwave to reheat for 1 minute.
Oatmeal is filling and it gives children vital nutrients they need to get through a school day.
Yogurt and Granola
Organic granola, which has not been sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, mixed with fat free Greek yogurt is a healthy and nutritious option for a child’s breakfast. To make the yogurt more appealing, try layering yogurt and granola with fruit in a large glass. Greek yogurt will give your children their daily needed dose of calcium. Dairy also helps maintain energy and sharpen focus.
Eggs are an excellent start to any morning. They are filled with protein and essential nutrients. Scramble eggs with a variety of veggies; add some low fat cheese to bind the eggs and vegetables together. Heat a wheat tortilla, and spoon the egg and vegetable mixture into the tortilla. Top with salsa, fold and serve. You have a quick health breakfast for your child, which took less than five minutes to prepare and has less than 200 calories per serving.
Bananas are rich in potassium and assist with muscle recovery. A quick healthy breakfast your kids will love is a banana and peanut butter sandwich. Store bought peanut butter such as Jif and Skippy are loaded with preservatives, chemicals and sweeteners. Instead, opt for organic peanut butter. Spread 1 tablespoon on a whole wheat English muffin. Top with sliced banana. This breakfast takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and comes in at about 300 calories each serving.
Cream of Wheat
For children who may not enjoy the texture of oatmeal, cream of wheat may be an option. This hot cereal has a creamier texture than oatmeal and mixes well with fruit. Try making a cup of cream of wheat and adding in a splash of milk, organic honey and fresh fruit for a nutritious and vitamin-rich start to the day. There are many other hot cereals on the market, such as Cream of Rice, Oat Bran and Muesli. Buy a swathe of different options and see which ones your children enjoy. Most of these kinds of cereals are a vegan quick breakfast for kids.
When Healthy is Not Healthy
All too often, parents have been lulled into the belief that sending their kids off with a glass of juice in the morning is healthy. However, store bought juices are shot full of shelf stabilizing preservatives and sugars to increase the sweetness of the product. A typical 4-ounce serving of juice has over 150 calories. Opt out of juice in the morning and think about making your children a smoothie. Smoothie can be prepared with unsweetened almond milk, which has about 25 calories per cup. Mix in frozen blueberries and strawberries and a scoop of whey protein powder to give your children an excellent low calorie brain booster to start their day.
Store bought muffins and breakfast breads also come packed with calories and fat. An average store bought blueberry muffin has more calories than two Snickers bars. These sugary baked goods are a terrible start to the morning. While the sugar will initially boost your child, a few hours later they will suffer the brain fog associated with a sugar crash. If you choose to serve items like this, invest in a good sugar free cookbook and learn how you can bake muffins that are sweetened with Stevia, cane juice or honey instead of sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
There are many options for parents worried that their children are not eating a nutritious breakfast. Breakfast kicks the day off right, and helps keep children focused. Make sure your kids are getting important vitamins and minerals in every breakfast meal.