Kids

The Battle with Breakfast for Kids

January 22, 2024

Breakfast for kids: I really wish it was a simpler topic to be honest! Breakfast is an absolute sh*t show in my house at the moment, with kids not eating and then wanting to eat as soon as we get in the car.  The reason I talk about it is because a good friend messaged […]

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Breakfast for kids: I really wish it was a simpler topic to be honest! Breakfast is an absolute sh*t show in my house at the moment, with kids not eating and then wanting to eat as soon as we get in the car.  The reason I talk about it is because a good friend messaged me the other day, asking what to feed her kids for breakfast. She was talking about trying to keep them calm before school, and she was asking how to limit sugar in breakfast, which is a great first step. So, does what kids eat affect their behavior? Yes, it does. Exactly like it does for us as adults. 

Protein Fat + Fibre.

Ideally, there are three elements we want in a kid’s breakfast, and to be honest, all of their meals, and all of ours, actually, the same rules apply. The three elements are protein, fibre, and healthy fat.  The reason we want all of these three elements is that all of these things combined will slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and maintain a steady level of energy. Instead of just having those starchy carbohydrates, which is like a simple piece of toast, that digest really quickly and releases large amounts of glucose into the bloodstream very quickly and leads to like a high surge of energy, which is kind of like that sugar high that we talk about after kids have something like lollies. Then it’ll come down low quite quickly and then we can get a bit cranky. So we really want to slow the release of that glucose into the bloodstream as much as you can for that really steady release of energy. 

Now with kids, this gets really tricky because although with adults, we know we want to have those three elements in a meal, we can’t essentially make kids eat all those.  individual things. So we really want to look at breakfast where we can mix all these elements together, or at least offer them all the three elements and hope that they might eat, say two out of the three, which is still going to be better than just that simple piece of toast.

Porridge

The first one is something like porridge. Porridge is actually quite a good one if you’re buying just the standard rolled oats. They do have a high carbohydrate content, but they do have a lot of fiber in them as well. But we want to also add some other things to them if we can. We want to add a healthy fat and that might be some chia seeds, that might be some nut butter, or that might be some yogurt on top. Avoid giving them plain porridge on its own doused in honey or sugar, but with those other additions is a really good option. 

Smoothie

Smoothies work really well because we can kind of mix all those three elements together. Again, chia seeds and nut butters work really well as the healthy fat, some yogurt or some hemp seeds work well for some protein and most of your fruits will work well for the fiber component.  Extra points for low GI fruits like berries over something like a stone fruit, which is like a mango.  Smoothies are actually a great way to hide veggies for some extra fiber too. Baby spinach and zucchini work really well in smoothies leaving no funny taste or texture behind. If you do want to, depending on the age of your kids, you can also use a kid-friendly protein powder to get some extra protein in there as well, but it’s not necessary. 

Yoghurt

Another good breakfast for kids is a Greek style yogurt, which has a bit of healthy fat and protein in it. And then you can add some fruit to that, or you can add a small amount of muesli to that as well. One of the quickest options!

Toast

Toast is great but using a piece of whole grain toast, which has more fiber and more protein in it. And then something like a nut butter on top, like a peanut butter. You could also then add some sliced bananas to the top of that and get a little bit fancy and sprinkle some seeds or some cinnamon on top. 

Eggs

If your kids like eggs, eggs are another great breakfast for kids. You can do something like scrambled eggs on toast if you have time or you can make them an omelette. Egg muffins are a real winner with kids because we can get quite creative with those. They’re a great on-the-go breakfast if you’re jumping into the car or you’re running late. They’ll also work really well to add a bit of protein into lunch boxes. 

To summarise, we want to try and get some protein, some fiber and a healthy fat into your kid’s breakfast where we can. If we offer them all three, we might get two out of three, which is a win. If you don’t get all three and you’re getting two out of the three, you’re still doing a great job of helping them maintain a steady level of energy instead of just that plain piece of toast.
As parents, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves with what our kids eat. It’s our job just to provide the right food at the right times for the kids, and we really need to step back and let them choose what to eat, which I know can be really tricky. If this is you, please join the waitlist for my new kids course over here.

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