Written by Dana Leigh Smith
We all know the drill: rushing through the morning to get groggy kids out of bed and onto the school bus can frazzle any parent. Sometimes things slip through the cracks—including breakfast. According to a recent survey by the American Dietetic Association, more than half of all kids miss breakfast sometimes. Studies have found that skipping a morning meal lowers school and test performance and is associated with absenteeism and poor attention to tasks. The easiest fix? Healthy and delicious recipes that will save you time and have the kids asking for seconds.
Scroll down to check out these awesome recipes: Breakfast Cookie Dough Balls, Easy Overnight Apple Oatmeal, Make and Freeze Pumpkin Pancakes, Greek Yogurt and Pear Parfait, and English Muffin Egg Pizzas.
Breakfast Cookie Dough Balls (adapted from this recipe)
Add a surprise element to your morning routine by offering cookies for breakfast! Made primarily from fall-harvested dates, the sweet fruit is a good source of heart-healthy fiber and potassium. Serve with a glass of calcium-rich milk and fresh fruit to round out the meal.
scant 2/3 cup pitted Sunmaid dates
1/4 cup cashews (or another nut, such as almonds)
1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt (can be omitted)
Blend the dates, cashews, salt, and vanilla in a food processor. (You can use a blender, but they’re much harder to blend and they can get very sticky.)
Make bars, balls, or shapes of whatever size you want.
* Want to serve up an extra energy boost? Mix in a handful of 70 percent dark chocolate chips to the blended mixture. Dark chocolate, rich in iron and magnesium, provides an extra boost to help little ones keep going throughout the day.
Easy Overnight Apple Oatmeal (adapted from this recipe)
Overnight oats, a fast and easy breakfast, were practically invented for busy moms. Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl, pop in the refrigerator overnight and serve the next morning. This variety uses fall fresh apples, full of heart-healthy flavonoids and belly-filling fiber. Just be sure to serve apples with the skin on to reap the benefits. Oatmeal, also full of soluble fiber, keeps kids energized hours after digging in.
1/2 cup dry oats
1 cup water or milk
1/2 chopped apple
Combine everything in a bowl (except for nuts, if you want to keep them crunchy). Stir.
Set in fridge overnight.
Warm in the microwave in the morning and serve.
* Want to serve up an extra energy boost? Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped almonds into the oats after you’ve warmed it up. Studies have found that people who smell cinnamon had improved memory and were more alert throughout the day. Magnesium-rich almonds help convert sugar into energy, providing an extra boost for kid and teens.
Make and Freeze Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from this recipe)
Pumpkins are good for more than jack-o’-lanterns. Half a cup of the gourd is a good source of heart-healthy potassium, vitamin B and fiber. Whip up a batch of these pancakes over the weekend, let them cool and pop them in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or toaster oven throughout the week for a quick and easy breakfast.
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil (plus extra for frying)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Whisk all the wet ingredients except the butter together, then mix in the dry ingredients.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan, then mix it into the batter.
Add butter or oil to the pan and add batter for your desired pancake size.
Flip once a few bubbles appear.
Serve with grass-fed butter, and cinnamon, or maple syrup.
* Want to serve up an extra energy boost? Serve the pancakes with a sliced banana. The fruit, packed with potassium and vitamin B, helps slow down digestion and keeps blood sugar levels stable, helping kids stay active throughout the day.
Greek Yogurt and Pear Parfait (adapted from this recipe)
It would be hard to find a kid who would turn down a sundae for breakfast. This sweet and crunchy yogurt parfait “sundae” is made with Greek yogurt, which is full of probiotics and calcium, which help aid digestion and boost immunity and energy. Layering in sweet and juicy pears is best during fall months while the fruit is in harvest. Pears are a good source of vitamin C, copper, and fiber, which keeps kids fuller longer and stabilizes blood sugar.
1 cup low-fat vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped pear or fruit of choice
1/2 cup bran flakes
Spoon 1/2 cup yogurt into a small dessert dish.
Layer with 1/2 cup of pears.
Layer with 1/4 cup cereal.
Stir to combine and serve.
* Want to serve up an extra energy boost? Add a handful of raw pepitas or dry roasted pumpkin seeds to the parfait. Packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber, pepitas keep bellies full and kids energized. They’re also rich in manganese and zinc, which provide an additional boost.
Not only will your kids love the idea of eating pizza for breakfast, this recipe is super simple to make and is packed with vital nutrients such as choline, a B-vitamin that boosts brain function and energy. To save valuable morning minutes, cook the hard-boiled eggs in advance and store unpeeled in the refrigerator to use throughout the week.
4 English muffins
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
Make hard-cooked eggs.
Toast 8 English muffin halves and place on a cookie sheet.
Drizzle each with olive oil, then layer on tomato slices, hard-cooked egg slices (1/2 an egg each), and a little grated mozzarella.
Sprinkle with oregano and kosher salt.
Broil 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
* Want to serve up an extra energy boost? Swap out traditional English muffins for the whole grain variety. Whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, B-vitamins and iron that provide a more constant source of energy throughout the day. Sneak some greens into the meal by adding in calcium-rich kale. Sauté it in oil and balsamic vinegar to help the body easily absorb the energy-boosting vitamins, and layer onto the English muffin with the other ingredients.TELL US: What are your family's favorite breakfast recipes? Share them in the comments section below.