What are some healthy breakfast ideas that kids will eat?

There are plenty of healthy, protein-rich breakfasts that children love. The following are some great examples of what to try with your own kids:
  • fried or soft-boiled egg, whole-grain toast and fruit or avocado slices
  • scrambled egg with cheese, topped with salsa, sometimes wrapped in a tortilla
  • instant plain grits with shredded low-fat cheddar cheese and soy bacon bits
  • cheese toast or whole-grain muffin or bagel half with fruit on the side
  • frozen whole-grain blueberry waffle topped with peanut butter
  • peanut butter toast with banana
  • fruit or green smoothies
  • low-fat yogurt, topped with granola
  • lean turkey on toast or a whole-grain English muffin, with a slice of tomato or avocado
  • oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit and chopped nuts or peanut butter
  • almond butter on whole-grain toast, muffin or waffle
If your kids don't like breakfast foods -- or get bored with them -- let them eat a sandwich or leftovers. Anything is fine if it's healthy food. Encourage them to fix their own -- and to avoid prepackaged, processed foods as much as possible.

The more you offer them healthy options, the more they will learn to love them.
Here are a few healthy, brain-fueling breakfast ideas from some of my nutrition colleagues.
  • Dave Grotto, RDN, busy author and father of two teenage girls, often has less than 5 minutes in the morning to prepare breakfast. He relies on one of his favorite Hungry Girl quick recipes, Denver Omelet in a Mug, to serve them a fast and satisfying breakfast. Best of all, cleanup is a cinch.
  • As a mother of three and author of MyPlate for Moms, Elizabeth Ward, RDN, starts her family’s day with her most fave Pumpkin Smoothie. Combine 1 cup each of low fat milk and canned pumpkin along with 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch ground cinnamon, and 2 ice cubes in a blender. Serve with whole grain toast. The beauty of this smoothie is that it provides a serving of veggies, which are often hard to squeeze in the AM.
  • Culinary nutritionist and author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes, Jackie Newgent, RDN, recommends starting the day off with her Banana-Nut Toastie. Spread a nut butter between 2 slices of whole grain bread. Top one slice of bread with sliced bananas, a few dark chocolate chips, and an optional pinch of cinnamon or cayenne. Cover with the other slice of bread and grill in a skillet or Panini press. Who wouldn’t like a tad of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate to start their day? 
  • Grilled Cheese French Toast is a household favorite for Elisa Zied, RD, author of Younger Next Week and mother of two hungry boys. To make this cheese stuffed toast, sandwich a slice of Swiss or cheddar cheese in between two slices of whole wheat bread. Dip the sandwich in a scrambled egg and brown in a fry pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Served with fruit and nonfat milk.
Deb Kennedy, PhD
Nutrition & Dietetics

A healthy breakfast needs protein, whole grains and fruit; roll-ups made with banana, nut butter and whole grain tortillas are a quick and yummy idea for kids. Watch pediatric nutritionist Deb Kennedy, PhD, explain how to make a breakfast roll-up.

Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics
Healthy and tasty breakfast ideas for children and the entire family include:
  • Whole grain cereal + low fat/skim milk or dairy alternative + fresh fruit
  • Cream of wheat or oatmeal served with fruit, chopped nuts, cinnamon
  • Breakfast Parfait -- low fat yogurt + whole grain ceral and fresh fruit
  • Breakfast burrito -- wholegrain tortilla filled with scrambled eggs + salsa or beans
  • Breakfast smoothie -- low fat yogurt + frozen fruit + milk/juice + nuts or seeds
  • Whole grain toast + eggs + fruit
  • Whole grain toast + nut butter + fruit
Yup. Here are some super-easy and fun recipes that can get toddlers to teens eating smarter.
  • Oatmeal-Cookie Pancakes: Every kid loves these. To regular pancake batter, add oats, raisins, chopped walnuts -- all excellent fiber and nutrition boosters -- plus some cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar. Pour into fun shapes like snowmen, turtles, or Mickey Mouse. To beat the morning rush, make the batter the night before and refrigerate it.
  • Breakfast Tacos: Teenagers who turn down everything else will often eat these. Spoon scrambled eggs into warm whole-wheat tortillas, top with shredded low-fat cheese, a dollop of low-fat yogurt or sour cream, and salsa.
  • Smoothies for Two: These are a treat on hot summer mornings and they're filled with enough protein, fiber, and nutrients to keep kids fueled for hours. Just combine 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, and 3/4 cup juice in a blender. Divide and drink.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.