Every kid should start the day with a healthy breakfast. If they skip it, they’ll have to catchup nutrition-wise throughout the rest of the day, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Kids need to have a healthy meal first thing so they can be at their best until bedtime. Here’s how to make sure your kid gets off on the right foot.
Breakfast doesn’t have to consist of traditional foods, especially if your kids aren’t partial to eggs or cereal. Last night’s dinner served as leftovers, a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter or even a ham sandwich is a fine start to the day. The main goal should be to give your kids a healthy, balanced meal. Every meal, breakfast especially, should include fruit or veggies (or both), protein, grain and dairy.
Give kids food they like to eat. Even leftover pizza is a perfectly fine breakfast, so long as it has a whole wheat crust and is topped with veggies. Sugary cereal can be mixed with whole grain cereal to make the meal healthier. Muffins can be made with mashed banana instead of sugar. Don’t try to change your kids’ tastes. Instead, work with them to give your child healthy breakfast they’ll actually finish.
Furthermore, if your kids don’t love eating certain things in the morning, like veggies, make sure to get extra in during dinner. Overall, the day’s food should be balanced, but it’s not always easy or possible to balance every single meal, especially if your kids are picky eaters. If they hate veggies in the morning, replace them with fruit and make sure to still add protein, whole grains and dairy.
Prep as much as possible the night before so that breakfast the following morning is a cinch to get ready. Cut up veggies for an omelet, take out the pans you’ll be using and line up any ingredients that don’t need to be refrigerated. If your kids are extra rushed in the morning, give them breakfast to-go, like a piece of fruit and a bag of trail mix or a peanut butter sandwich and a carton of milk.
Healthy meals are essential for growing bodies and brains that are still developing. Studies have even shown that kids who eat healthy breakfasts actually perform better in school.