Are you looking for some new options to spice up your kids’ breakfast routine? It’s so easy to fall into a cereal rut, which certainly isn’t bad…but it can get boring pretty quickly. Instead, try these 10 Toddler and Little Kid Breakfast Ideas to help you steer clear of the Pop Tarts and Krispy Kremes!
Here we go…My Top 10 Toddler and Little Kid Breakfast Ideas!
1. SMOOTHIES. These are a great way to ensure that your children get plenty of fruit, protein, and calcium at the start of their day. The combinations are really endless, but some of our favorites include my Chunky Monkey Protein Smoothie (it’s dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free); my Vanilla Berry Smoothie; and my Key Lime Pie Protein Smoothie. Let your children drink them through fun straws, or pour them into special cups. They’ll be thrilled with the opportunity to have a “milkshake” for breakfast!
2. HEALTHY 3-INGREDIENT CINNAMON BANANA PANCAKES. My friend Caryn shared this recipe with me years ago when we both had toddlers. Her son loves them, my boys love them, and I still make them for myself! They’re a great way to take advantage of overripe bananas, and they are grain-free, gluten-free, and high in protein! Pro tip: while the pancakes are great with maple syrup, they’re sweet enough on their own that they don’t even need it. Instead, try adding a smear of peanut butter to the top! Grab the recipe HERE.
3. BARS. A packaged granola bar can be incredibly convenient and also healthy when paired with some fruit or milk and yogurt. My kids’ favorites? The Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars, which are made with just 3 ingredients: peanuts, dates, and salt. The Larabars are soft enough for the little ones to chew, and they come in a zillion tasty flavors. Better yet? Make your own bars and keep them in your refrigerator! We love my No-Bake Mocha Almond Fudge Energy Bars (omit the coffee if you’re serving them to kids!!), and my Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Cereal Bars for slightly older children who can chew little pieces of chopped nuts and dried fruit.
4. MINI MUFFINS. Mini muffins are much easier for little fingers to pick up and eat, and they can be made to appeal to just about any palate. Blueberry is always a safe bet with the kiddos, but other favorites include my Morning Glory Muffins (bake them in a mini muffin tin for smaller portions); my Graham Cracker Blender Mini Muffins; and my Whole Grain Honey Peach Toddler Mini Muffins. An added bonus when it comes to muffins? They freeze beautifully, so you can bake a batch and then just thaw them in the microwave as you need them. Perfect for busy mornings!
5. YOGURT PARFAITS. Make a breakfast parfait that is pretty, and your child is bound to be interested! You can layer any yogurt and fruit in a cup, or add cereal or granola for some crunch. Try my Overnight Apple Crisp Breakfast Parfait. If your child is too small for chunks of apple, just use plain whole milk yogurt and layer it with applesauce! The fruit gives plain yogurt a great touch of sweetness without the need for added sugar.
6. MINIATURE WAFFLE SANDWICHES. One of my favorite breakfasts is a peanut butter sandwich made with two whole-grain toaster waffles. In the frozen section of your grocery store, grab some miniature waffles for your kids and serve them this tasty treat as well (we love the whole grain organic version by Earth’s Best). The mini waffles are not as thick as their full-size counterparts, and are the perfect size for your toddlers to pick up on their own. Drizzle with honey or pure maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.
7. TOAST SHAPES. Most kids don’t care for the crust on toasted bread, so I found that it’s quick, easy, and fun to use a cookie cutter to trim shapes out of toast. You can spread the whole grain toast with butter, with cinnamon, with nut butter, or with a fruit spread. Add fresh fruit, eggs, yogurt, cheese, or milk for a balanced meal.
8. FREEZER-FRIENDLY EGG AND CHEESE MINI MUFFINS. These mini muffins are the perfect answer to busy, weekday mornings. Bake a batch in advance (it only takes a total of 15 minutes from start to finish), and pop them in the freezer. When you need one in the morning, just pull it from the freezer and put it directly in the microwave for a few seconds. It’s the best way I know to make eggs without dirtying a pan. Plus, they’re a much neater way for your toddler to eat scrambled eggs with her hands! The 3-INGREDIENT recipe is HERE!
9. FRUIT ROLL-UPS. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese (or yogurt, cottage cheese, or nut butter) onto a whole grain tortilla. Top with fruit, roll it up, and allow your child to take bites on her own. You can also slice it into smaller rounds if that’s an easier way for your little one to feed himself. If your child is small and cannot chew whole slices of fruit, just mash berries or banana in a bowl, slice grapes very thin, or use a fruit puree like applesauce. Pick your child’s favorite combination!
10. OATMEAL BREAKFAST BAR. Plain oatmeal is BORING. But, if you allow your kids to dress up their own bowl, it will instantly be fun! Microwave a bowl of plain oatmeal with milk and a pinch of salt. Set out some fixin’s on the counter and allow your kids to put together their own concoction. Toppings might include (just a few) rainbow sprinkles, a dollop of nut butter, a dollop of Greek yogurt, honey (if your child is older than 1), chopped or pureed fruit, raisins, or anything else that you can pull out of your pantry. Oatmeal is suddenly delicious!