It’s no secret that breakfast is brain food which easily makes it the most important meal of your toddler’s day. Unfortunately, it can also be the hardest to get excited about, especially if your amazing-but-sometimes-batty child wakes up before the sun, enthusiastically ready to start their day before the coffee has a chance to percolate (hand raised!).
Fortunately, these five breakfast recipes just might be what saves you. From fun bagel faces to a DIY instant oatmeal that will forever change your mornings, we’ve got your back. Now, bring on that second or third cup of caffeine and let’s get this breakfast thing going.
When my oldest two kids were wee ones, fruits and vegetables weren’t at the top of their favourite foods list. To make eating them more fun, I used to make open “face” bagel sandwiches for breakfast, because I knew that if I placed a plate of bagels, cucumbers, carrots and red peppers in front of them for their morning meal, they would have immediately turned up their noses and walked away. However, when presented in the form of a funny face they were intrigued and got caught up with trying to “eat the nose” while wondering if they should “save the mouth” for later. My current toddler is equally smitten with these funny faces, not to mention the subtly sweetened cream cheese spread I smear under the eyes, nose and mouth.
My two-year-old is completely smitten with smoothies. He’s been drinking them since they were age-appropriate and I have yet to find one he doesn’t like. I add spinach and kale, hemp hearts and chia seeds, and all manners of frozen fruit and/or vegetables (frozen cauliflower is a great one to sneak in), plus wholesome no-sugar added fruit and vegetable juices. Smoothies are a really great way to add superfoods to your family’s diet, especially a toddler’s, since it’s not uncommon for little ones to be picky during this stage of development. His favourite, by far, is the one I affectionately dub ‘the flu fighter’. I started drinking it when I was pregnant with him, which might have something to do with his enthusiasm for this brightly hued and healthy concoction, and since then I’ve tweaked the recipe to include robust flavours like ginger and turmeric.
You’ll want to bookmark this recipe right away because it’s a good one! Not only is this an excellent, easy breakfast for your toddlers, but it’s also one that can be batch cooked meaning you can fill the freezer with waffles for a few weeks. These pumpkin waffles are reasonably healthy and a wholesome food for older babies and toddlers. They’re made with whole grain flour, oats, Greek yogurt, eggs, milk, and pumpkin purée. The oil and sugar is kept to a minimum, yet the result is still soft and moist (but not soggy!), easy to chew, and makes very little crumbs. I serve them plain or with a side of applesauce, but you can also certainly try them topped with maple syrup, fruit and yogurt.
Thanks to the persuasive powers of social media, we are completely devoted to #tacotuesday, and always eat some form of taco on the second workday of the week. Sometimes that means at breakfast, where we wrap chili and cheese-spiked scrambled eggs in taco shells or wholegrain tortillas for easy eating. My kids love this breakfast, especially my toddler, who is fond of consuming anything that allows him to eat with his hands. Experience has taught me that the eggs can cook in about the same time it takes for the kettle to fully boil, meaning breakfast can be on the table in time for me to savour my tea.
DIY Instant Oatmeal (recipe below)
This was a discovery for me last spring, and I’ve been making jars of homemade instant oatmeal ever since because my toddler is obsessed. He’s an early morning riser and is sometimes ready for breakfast long before the rest of the house, so when I put the kettle on for my morning tea I add a little extra water for his no-cook oatmeal. Like those sugar-laden packages we all grew up with, this is the homemade and healthy version of that very thing. Consider your mornings forever changed, especially if you have oatmeal fanatics in your house.
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons powdered milk
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Prep and Cook
- 1In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse the oats, chia seeds, brown sugar, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt until fine but not floury.
- 2Transfer to a glass jar or lidded container and store for up to 2 weeks.
- 3To make oatmeal: combine ¼ cup milk with ½ cup boiling water. Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir, drizzle with maple syrup and top with fresh fruit and/or yogurt, if desired.