Trying to break the toast and cereal cycle? Here are our top tips for shaking up your family’s morning drill, with some brilliant healthy breakfast inspiration from the founder of family food site, Food for Kids.
You’ve heard it a hundred times before – breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. But even for those of us with the best intentions, breaking the time-honoured tradition of toast and cereal can be hard. We may be enlightened enough these days to know that cereals that change the colour of the milk are best avoided, but our leanings towards quick and comforting refined carbs can set our kids on course for a mid-morning concentration crash.
You may not be ready to embrace your inner German quite yet and lay out the wurst for breakfast but with a little bit of planning, striking the perfect balance of complex carbohydrates and a little protein is easier than you think:
- Eggs are often overlooked but these little nutritional powerhouses make the perfect (and quick) protein-rich start to the day. Boiled egg and soldiers is a perennial child favourite but frittatas and omelettes are great too (and leftovers are brilliant for lunch boxes).
- For all that porridge goodness without the early start in the kitchen, make up a bumper batch of dry bircher muesli mix one Sunday evening, then simply serve up the required portions in a bowl, add milk (or nut milk) and some grated apple before you go bed. We can’t promise your children won’t reject it as looking like ‘dinosaur brains’ but a little maple syrup, and letting them get creative with toppings, helps sweeten the deal and it will set them up brilliantly for a busy morning.
- Toast needn’t be off the menu altogether – go wholegrain and mix up the grains occasionally (try mineral-rich rye bread) and ditch the jam or honey for a nutritious topping like avocado, eggs, almond butter or cheese.
- Make your own granola or muesli. It’s an easy way to experiment with new grains, add fruits and nuts to the breakfast table and ditch the added salt and refined sugar found in ready-made brands.
- Muffins and pancakes may sound like treats but done right, they can be a real nutritional trade-up from commercial cereals. Look for carrot or banana based recipes with wholegrains, protein-rich flours like quinoa, and teff, nuts and seeds. They freeze well too so there’s no need for any heavy duty cooking before you’ve had your morning caffeine.
Need some further inspiration to shake up the breakfast routine? Look no further than Vicky Charlesworth, founder of Mr Fox favourite Food for Kids. As a busy mum of two, Leiths-trained cook and muesli company founder, what Vicky doesn’t know about healthy and delicious morning meals frankly isn’t worth knowing. Here are three of our favourites:
Farmer Jo’s Breakfast Eggs
“This idea came from my wonderful friends at Farmer Jo Muesli in Australia. Giving small portions of different foods ensures that the fussiest eaters will enjoy something. Kids love a bit of variation – the egg box is fun and keeps them interested, not to mention saving on washing up too!”
“Home made granola is simply the best. Everyone loves warm, sweet caramel flavours drifting around their home. The kids can really get involved with this; mixing, measuring and selecting their ingredients. This recipe is very flexible and so a great way to use up the end of packets of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. We love this buckwheat version sprinkled over porridge or with a generous serving of yoghurt and fresh fruit. A great way to start the weekend before we hit the park!”
“These are absolutely hands down the best pancakes I have ever made. Inspired by a friend who’s little boy refuses to eat anything from a vegetable or fruit – he absolutely adores these. Little does he know…”Food for Kids or follow Vicky on Instagram @food_for_kids or on Facebook.