Save time and stay healthy with a few easy morning munchies!
The alarm goes off -- you've got 59 minutes left to get the kids up, dressed and out the door -- and you still need to give them a healthy meal. Ideally, you'd like to start them off with some fruit and vegetables, but the dehydrated berries in your cereal aren't cutting it. What to do? Easy breakfast ideas are time-savers, nutrition promoters and totally necessary in your crazy kid-packed day. Check out some of these totally tasty fruit-and veggie-packed options!
- Breakfast Pita Pizza -- With a Twist
An apple a day may really help to keep the doctor away. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that a diet rich in fruits and veggies can help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer. Toast a whole wheat pita. Smooth on a layer of no-sugar-added apple butter. Top the "pizza" with grated apple and dollops of plain yogurt, and add sliced bananas or strawberries. Cut the pita in quarters to make pizza-slice-size pieces. Not only does the breakfast pizza taste good and get fruits into your child's diet, but it also takes less than 15 minutes to make.
- Spinach Smoothie
Lisa Mase-Syragakis, creator of the healthy eating website The Vegan Mom, suggests a vegetable and fruit smoothie for breakfast. This is an especially easy breakfast fix if your family is vegetarian or vegan. Mase-Syragakis says, "The healthiest and easiest vegan breakfast comes from a blender! Smoothies pack protein, iron and antioxidants in a tasty drink. Throw in some fresh spinach, a frozen banana, strawberries, chia seeds, raw cashews and some almond milk. Blend it up and enjoy!"
- Fruit Skewers and Dip
Dips are always fun! Blend together a few different options, using plain yogurt as a base and adding pureed fruit, cinnamon or a few drops of honey. The Choose My Plate website suggests making Caribbean fruit skewers for a BBQ. Take this to breakfast level and skip the outdoor grill. Cut up melons, pineapples and peeled mangoes into cubes, or make balls with a melon baller. Have your child help you skewer them -- if time allows -- making an alternating pattern of fruit. Brush lightly with olive oil and put the kebab under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Veggie Dip Switch
Kristen Yarker, a registered dietitian and nutrition blogger, notes, "Many kids love dips. Offer raw veggies or fruit with a veggie-filled or protein-rich dip. Examples include hummus, white bean dip, nut or no-nut butters and guacamole." Swap the fruits for some veggie-based easy breakfast ideas. Cut up different colors of peppers, zucchini and carrots. To make the yogurt dip more savory than sweet, add basil, dill or finely chopped cucumbers.
- Eggs in a Hole, Plus
There's a surprise inside your child's toast! Use a round cookie cutter -- or try a shaped one for a fun theme -- to make a hole in the middle of a thick slice of whole wheat bread. Add a tablespoon of butter to a heated frying pan and, when it melts, place the bread in the pan. Mix an egg with diced vegetables -- peppers, zucchini, spinach and tomatoes work well. Pour the mix into the toast's hole and let it cook. Flip the toast over to cook the other side of the egg.
- White Bean Dip
Yarker also suggests white bean dip as a healthy option for kids. Combine cannellini beans, roasted garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of lemon juice and mix with a hand blender. Slather the spread on apple slices or offer strips of whole-grain toast for dipping.
- Avocado Toast
Don't have a bean fan on your hands? Mase-Syragakis suggests making breakfast avocado toast. "Simply toast some bread, top it with sliced avocado and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt and done!"
Start the day off right with these easy breakfast ideas for kids. Not only do they sneak in healthy fruits and veggies, but they're simple enough that you may just have time left over to pack lunch, too!
Need more ideas to coax your kiddos into eating well? Check out "Veg Out: Easy Ways to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables."
Erica Loop is a mom, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. When she's not teaching, she's busy creating kids' activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies.