Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as a busy parent, it can sometimes be a challenge to get your kids to eat something healthy and nutritious in the morning. You you want them to eat whole-grain oatmeal and fresh fruit, but they’re cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. To end the breakfast wars, you need to find wholesome meals that also appeal to a child’s palate like these five kid-friendly breakfast recipes that just happen to be healthy.
1. Guiltless Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Kids may clamor for chocolate chip pancakes on weekend mornings, but health-conscious parents may worry they’re not exactly a nutritious breakfast. But you don’t have to feel bad about serving these chocolate chip pancakes (from Gimme Some Oven via The Skinnytaste Cookbook) to your little ones. Using ingredients like egg whites, almond milk, and applesauce lightens up this dish considerably. This recipe makes 10 pancakes.
- ½ cup white whole-wheat flour
- ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy or low-fat dairy milk)
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Cooking spray or oil mister
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Honey or pure maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Directions: Add the whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Combine the applesauce, almond milk, egg whites, oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Heat a large non-stick griddle pan over medium-low. Once the pan is hot, lightly coat it with oil. Ladle ¼ cup of pancake batter onto the hot pan and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of chocolate chips. Cook until the pancake starts to bubble in the middle and edges are set, about 1½ minutes. Flip and cook for 1½ minutes more. Set cooked pancakes aside or place in warm oven. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with maple syrup or honey.
2. Breakfast Yogurt Popsicles
Making sure kids get a nutritious, healthy breakfast on hectic mornings can be tough, but these kid-friendly breakfast popsicles will make your a.m. routine a bit easier. Just combine berries, yogurt, milk, and granola in a popsicle mold, then freeze. The result is a fast and healthy breakfast your kids will actually want to eat. Recipe from I Heart Nap Time.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ cup granola
- 1 cup berries or chopped fruit
Directions: Add the milk, yogurt, and 1 teaspoon of honey to a medium bowl. Mix to combine. Divide the yogurt mixture evenly between 6 to 8 popsicle molds. Spoon some berries into each mold.
Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with the granola. Sprinkle the granola onto the popsicles.
Insert a popsicle stick into each mold. Transfer to the freezer for at least 4 hours, until popsicles are fully set. When ready to eat, run the mold under hot water until the popsicle comes loose, then serve.
3. Healthy Breakfast Burritos
Make-ahead breakfasts save you valuable time in the morning, but store-bought convenience foods are often loaded with sugar, fat, and salt. Rather than raiding the freezer aisle, make a batch of these healthy breakfast burritos instead, which are filled with fresh red pepper and protein-rich scrambled eggs. This recipe from My Nourished Home makes 12 burritos.
[Editor’s note, 12/28/2016: An earlier version of this story stated this recipe was from Whole Food | Real Families. It’s been updated to reflect the blog is now called My Nourished Home.]
- 12 whole-wheat tortillas
- 12 eggs
- 12 sausage links cut on the bias
- 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- 1 red bell pepper, small dice
- ½ red onion, small dice
Directions: Prepare the scrambled eggs and sausage. Let cool completely. Stack 12 squares of parchment paper on top of each other.
Place a tortilla on top of the parchment paper stack. Spoon the scrambled egg, sausage, bell pepper, onions, and cheese in a line in the middle of the tortilla. Fold up the sides of the tortilla. Fold the bottom and top of the parchment paper over the burrito, then roll up the sides. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have 12 burritos.
Place all the wrapped burritos in a large resealable plastic bag or container. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Before serving, microwave the parchment-wrapped burrito for 35 to 45 seconds. Tear open the parchment and eat the burrito. If reheating from frozen, let burritos thaw in the refrigerator before microwaving.
4. Strawberries and Sweet Cream Oatmeal
Filling and nutritious oatmeal gives your kids the energy they need to power through the day. This quick microwave recipe from Girl and the Kitchen makes the breakfast staple more kid-friendly by cooking the oats in milk before adding delicious fresh strawberries. Serves 1.
- ¼ cup instant steel-cut oats
- 3 medium sized strawberries, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 stevia packet, or substitute your sweetener of choice
- 3 tablespoons whole milk, almond milk or coconut milk.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 2 minutes, or until oatmeal reaches your desired consistency.
Carefully remove bowl from microwave. Stir. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.
5. Apple Cinnamon Toaster Strudels
Toaster pastries — even the homemade kind — don’t exactly qualify as healthy food. But if you’re trying to cure your kids of an addiction to packaged breakfast treats, consider weaning them off the store-bought pastries with these from-scratch toaster strudels made with real apples. This recipe from The Kitchn makes 8.
For the crust
- 1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the filling
- 2 baking apples, peeled and cored, such as Honeycrisp or Gala
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
For the icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions: To make the filling, grate the apples on the large holes of a box grater. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and turn heat to medium. Once the butter is melted, add the grated apple and toss until coated with the butter. Add the brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and salt to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the apple mixture turns thick and syrupy. Remove pan from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of chilled butter. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously coat a work surface with flour, then unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll out the pastry until you have a large, thin rectangle. Trim the edges so the pastry forms a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 3½-by-5-inch rectangles.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer 4 pieces of the pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling into the center of each rectangle. Spread the filling to make an even layer, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges.
Brush the other 4 pieces of pastry with the beaten egg. Then place each piece of pastry over the rectangles with filling, egg-coated side down. Use your finger to seal the edges of each strudel. Prick each all over with the fork, including on the sealed edges. Repeat the process with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and the rest of the filling.
Bake the strudels in the oven for about 35 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.
If you want to frost the strudels, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together. Spoon the glaze into a small resealable plastic bag. Snip a small hole in one corner of the bag and pipe desired amount onto each pastry. Serve.
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