Toddlers can be finicky and fussy about food – that’s a given. But there are lots of ways that you can make sure they’re eating healthy at breakfast time, and having fun doing it. It’s true what they say – breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you want to establish in your child a routine that will stay with her for the rest of her life.
Check out Udemy’s Healthy Cooking Fundamentals course to learn more about healthy cooking overall. Knowing the basics will be the first step to ensuring that you are able to prepare healthy foods for your toddler, not only for breakfast but for every other meal of the day. And remember – you can still cook your toddler some of her favorite foods, and even some of the favorites you enjoyed as a child, while remaining on the healthy side. There are always healthy variations available if you think smart and do your research.
Don’t have time to cook in the morning? Mini muffins are a great option for toddlers. These bite-sized treats won’t go to waste, and you can cook a variety of options and freeze them well in advance, making it easy to choose the version your child is in the mood for and warm it in the microwave in the morning. How’s that for an incredibly easy meal option.
Fruit and Cereal
When they’re a bit older, you can start chopping up fruit and putting it in their cereal. However, toddlers who want to feed themselves aren’t quite ready for cereal and fruit, usually. And picking up fruit on its own can be difficult. That’s why rolling fruit in dry baby cereal and letting it stick to the fruit can be a great option. Not only does it make for a tasty and easy to create treat, but it will help your toddler start feeding herself and developing some of her finer motor skills.
Scrambled eggs, especially when cooked and broken up into larger, easy to pick up pieces, are a great breakfast option for toddlers. However, eggs by themselves aren’t the healthiest of foods for younger children. Think about sneaking in some veggies to ensure they’re getting plenty of healthy foods in their breakfast. Spinach can be chopped up and scrambled into eggs for a delicious veggie that mixes well and is easy for little ones to handle. Peppers, finely minced broccoli, and diced tomatoes are also a great option.
Pancakes and Waffles
Pancakes and waffles are a great idea for toddler breakfasts, as they can easily be cut up for toddlers as a finger food option. Remember that there are plenty of great recipes for pancake and waffle alternatives, including applesauce pancakes, blueberry, strawberry, pumpkin, and more. This can be a great way to add additional fruit for a healthier meal. Additionally, adding fresh fruit can help you skip the messy (and unhealthy) syrup. A drizzle of honey is often enough to add a bit of sweetness to a toddler’s pancakes and waffles – just remember not to serve honey to any kids under a year of age.
Whether you’re raising your toddler to lead a vegetarian lifestyle or you simply want to ensure that she is getting plenty of healthy vegetables in her diet, steamed veggies can be a great breakfast idea that is actually more diverse than it seems. Baby corn, carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and much more can make for a great, easy to digest breakfast that is easy for even busy parents to whip up in the morning. Check out Udemy’s vegetarian cooking school for more great ideas and options, or head to our blog to check out some of our favorite vegan breakfasts.
Toast and Tortillas (With Spread)
Toast is a great breakfast option, and there are many great spreads that you can use. However, don’t rule out using healthy and delicious tortillas for another breakfast option. Remember to go for whole grains when you can, as they are a healthier alternative and can help you cut out refined flour and sugars from your child’s diet – something that can be important at this early age. Healthy jellies and jams are always a big hit, but remember that there are plenty of other spreads that you can use, including peanut butter, healthy cream cheese (which can easily be mixed with fruits and veggies), and even a dash of guacamole.
Smoothies are a great option for the entire family, and there is a simple way to prepare smoothies even if you’re a busy mom or dad on the go. Simply prepare your smoothies ahead of time, packing them full of delicious fruits and even veggies. Then freeze the smoothie in an ice cube tray and store them in a Ziploc baggie until they’re ready to eat. They’ll easily blend back into a great smoothie that is easy for toddlers to sip and enjoy in the morning.
Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast treat. We prefer healthy steel-cut oats rather than instant breakfast varieties, as they give you a lot of options for flavoring, are easy to prepare, and can ensure that they don’t come loaded with additional ingredients such as sugar and processed foods that you aren’t aware of. Steel-cut oats can be prepared and cooked in a slow cooker overnight so they’re ready first thing in the morning. After they’re done, all you need to do is toss in some of your favorite fruits for a great, healthy breakfast for the entire family. Some options include berries, peaches, or chopped apple with cinnamon.
Peanut Butter Sandwich Squares With Fruit
Another great finger food option for toddlers is peanut butter sandwiches with various types of fruit, cut up into squares that are small enough for even little ones to handle. Banana is the perfect choice for these easy to make breakfast sandwiches, and the combination of peanut butter with fruit and whole grain bread makes for a balanced meal that will help keep your toddler healthy.
Frittata muffins are a great way to make an easy to hold breakfast treat for small hands that are filled with a balanced array of eggs and veggies, and even a healthy meat if you are so inclined. There are tons of great recipes available for frittata muffins, but remember that the best option is to go with the veggies that your little one prefers. One of the great things about making frittata muffins is that you can choose different ingredients for each individual muffin, depending on your family’s preferences, making it a great option for everyone in the household.
If your little one is a picky eater, you can easily tempt them with some delicious and nutritious breakfast cookies. There are plenty of recipes out there, but reducing the sugar content of these cookies and replacing some of the texture with healthy alternative ingredients such as grated carrot can be a great way to add nutritional value to these treats. The biggest benefit, of course, is that these cookies can be made well in advance for an easy on-the-go breakfast option that is as great for your toddler as it is for the whole family.
Cereal and Yogurt
Cereal is great for little ones, but milk can be a bit messy for a toddler that is just learning to serve herself. For a great alternative that can be pretty tasty, try using plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt in place of milk. You can also add in chopped up fruit like strawberries for additional nutritional value and added flavor.
Some Tips for Great Toddler Breakfasts
Feeding toddlers can be difficult. Not only do you have to account for the nutritional value of the foods that they are eating, but you have to take into consideration which foods are safe for them to eat, which foods are easy for them to eat, and – in the case of more finicky children – which foods you are going to be able to get them to eat. A good place to start when trying to come up with easy breakfast ideas for toddlers is looking at the other types of food that they enjoy throughout the day. Variations of other food favorites such as pizza can be a great way to entice them to eat, and even to try new things such as fruits and vegetables.
Keep in mind that fussy eaters can also be enticed by letting them cook with you, even if they’re only performing basic tasks such as assembling food items or decorating them. You can learn more about cooking with kids in this healthy vegetarian kids cooking course.
But just remember, you don’t have to be a gourmet to learn how to cook great meals for your family. Even if the only food item you have mastery of is omelets, a little variety can make for a number of great breakfasts. (On a side note, Udemy offers a course that can teach you to make the perfect omelet, so check it out for pointers.) You want your kids to enjoy breakfast as well as to eat healthy, but that doesn’t mean coming up with great breakfast ideas for toddlers has to be a chore. If you enjoy it, and the foods you create, your kids will be sure to love what you make them.