Kids need energy to power through their active days. Add my favorite breakfast ideas for kids to your shopping list and guarantee your child has energy from a nutritious breakfast.
As a parent, you know the “most important meal of the day” is sometimes the toughest meal to find healthy options for, especially on hectic mornings before school.
But what makes a breakfast nutritious?
A healthy breakfast contains healthy fats, protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients. Balanced meals prevent midday energy dips and help kids focus in school.
I’ve created a list of some of my favorite breakfast ideas that have tons of fiber, calcium, vitamin D, or iron.
And they’re easy for parents like you to prepare.
Let’s dive in!
High Fiber Breakfast Ideas
Fiber is sometimes the forgotten nutrient, especially in a child’s diet. Soluble and insoluble fiber are two kinds of fiber found in food. Foods like bananas, oats and beans contain a soluble source of fiber.
Insoluble fiber is found in fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Those aren’t exactly the foods most kids gravitate towards. So, it’s important to find ways to increase the fiber in your child’s diet.
Why? Fiber keeps the GI tract running smoothly and is important for gut health.
A healthy gut may strengthen the immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect.
School-aged kids need approximately 19-25 g of fiber. Tweens need about 26-31 g of fiber. Teenagers need slightly more fiber, around 26-38 g daily.
Here are some breakfasts ideas with fiber to get you started:
- Whole grain breakfast cereal (look for low-sugar varieties) with fruit
- Whole-grain toast with peanut butter or Nutella and banana
- Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
- Breakfast burrito made with whole wheat tortilla and filled with scrambled egg and salsa
- Veggie omelet
- Breakfast tacos made with whole wheat tortilla (with egg, cheese and other toppings)
- French toast made with whole-grain bread
- Breakfast quesadilla made with whole wheat tortilla and filled with cheese and veggies
High Iron Breakfast Ideas
During childhood, the body works hard to build new blood cells, muscles, and bones. Without enough iron, kids and teens can experience fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating.
Iron deficiency during childhood is a big concern. Not only can iron deficiency lead to anemia, but it can affect a child’s cognitive development, especially if it occurs in the younger years of life.
There are two types of dietary iron: heme and non-heme iron. Meat, poultry, and fish contain heme iron, which is well absorbed by the body.
Non-heme iron is found in some fruits, vegetables, beans and grains, but the body doesn’t absorb it as well as heme iron.
So, if your child is a vegetarian, it’s important to include foods that are high in non-heme iron at every meal, especially breakfast. To improve iron absorption, include a source of vitamin C, such as orange juice, tomato, or red pepper.
Some good sources of non-heme iron include beans, tofu, spinach, fortified cereals and bread, peas, lentils, enriched flour products such as pasta and rice, and oatmeal.
- Eggs cooked any style. Keep hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator so kids can grab them for quick breakfasts or snacks
- Omelet with spinach and mushrooms
- Oatmeal with raisins or apricots
- Oat, Flax & Raisin Breakfast Cookies
- Fortified cereal with raisins and milk
High Vitamin D Breakfast Ideas
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for developing strong bones and teeth. While kids can get it from exposure to sunlight, it’s important to make sure your little one also gets vitamin D from food.
Egg yolks and fatty fish like salmon contain vitamin D, but most of the vitamin D in the diet comes from fortified foods. Milk, orange juice, and some cereals are examples of foods that are usually fortified with vitamin D.
So, in addition to playing outside, here are ways you can add a little vitamin D to breakfast:
- Fortified cereals with low-fat milk or soy milk (stick to cereals low in added sugars)
- Healthy Egg in a Hole with fortified bread and orange juice
- Bagel with smoked salmon and low-fat cream cheese
Calcium-Rich Breakfast Ideas
During childhood and adolescence, bones are growing at their fastest rate. That means kids need plenty of calcium to stay strong and healthy.
According to the Dietary Reference Intakes, toddlers and school-age kids need about 700-1,000 mg of calcium daily. And older kids and teens need 1,300 mg of calcium daily.
The most common calcium-rich foods are milk, cheese and yogurt.
One cup of low-fat milk contains 310 mg of calcium.
This key nutrient is also found in leafy greens like spinach and tofu and fortified soy milk.
Here are a few high-calcium breakfasts:
- Tofu scramble with veggies
- Breakfast smoothie with yogurt, fruit, and oats
- Yogurt with granola and fruit
- Whole grain cereal with low-fat milk or soy milk
- Omelette or frittata with mozzarella cheese
On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas
As a parent and children’s nutrition expert, I know this category is the most popular for parents.
Busy mornings or tired kids sleeping in on school days are some of the most common reasons parents tell me they don’t have time for a healthy breakfast.
There are plenty of options that are quick and easy. Nutritious meals don’t have to be difficult.
The following ideas combine healthy options that are quick to grab and go. To save even more time, you can prep some of these breakfasts the night before.
- Breakfast parfait with yogurt, fruit, and granola
- Protein shake with milk or yogurt
- Breakfast smoothie with yogurt, fruit, and oats
- Healthy breakfast bar or granola bar
- Breakfast muffins (look for low-sugar, high-fiber brands or make some at home)
- Egg “muffins” (make ahead and store in the freezer)
- Overnight oats (prepare in a storage container with a cover)
- Breakfast sandwich or a peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat
Send Me The Do’s & Dont’s of Picky Eating!
More Advice About Breakfast for Kids
Try new breakfast ideas to get kids excited about eating in the morning. Be sure to mix things up and keep your child interested by rotating through these different options on a regular basis.
Changing up your meals also helps kids get a variety of nutrients from their daily diet.
What are some of your favorite breakfasts for kids?
If you have a teen athlete at home, check out my guide for Fast and Nutritious Breakfast Young Athletes.
Want Some Mealtime Inspo?!
Check out PrePear! It will help you meal plan, come up with new recipes, create your own cookbook of recipes, and even create a grocery list and order items off the app!