My parents never had to work hard to get me out of bed for breakfast. I’ve always been a breakfast-eater, excitedly waking up before the sun, slipping on my school uniform, and heading to the kitchen. The few extra minutes of sleep weren’t worth the inevitable stomach rumbling if I skipped out on my oatmeal or eggs.
But I'm highly food motivated! Many kids love sleeping in a lot more than pancakes. The catch-the-bus time crunch plus still-sleepy brains make it hard to cook balanced meals themselves. Left to their own devices, they scarf down toaster pastries or sugary bars. But there are ways parents can help keep kids full until lunchtime. For kids to get that boost before classes begin, authors (and parents!) Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh suggest three breakfast strategies to provide long-lasting energy in their latest book, The School Year Survival Cookbook.
First, pick carbohydrates that have slow-releasing sugar, like oatmeal, quinoa, or whole-wheat bread. “A breakfast laden with sugar gives a quick burst of energy followed by hunger,” they write. You want kids to be full until lunchtime. Second, pairing protein with carbs helps the body absorb sugars less quickly. Add nuts, nut butters, or eggs to oatmeal or Greek yogurt on whole-wheat toast. Finally, breakfasts rich in antioxidants not only help kids in the short term, but can help prevent cell damage down the road. Throw strawberries, blueberries, cherries, or spinach into their muffins or biscuits.
The new school year is just around the corner (or may have already started!), but there’s still time to plan delicious, no-fuss breakfasts that kids will love. Here are 32 recipes to get you started.
What do you like to make for your kids at breakfast? Let us know in the comments!