Following on from my Healthy Lunchbox Ideas post, I want to now talk about breakfast. I’m definitely someone who can’t leave the house without food, if I don’t eat a good breakfast I end up spending the rest of the morning snacking and then get an afternoon slump.
This is no different for kids. Their little brains need fuel and their bodies need sufficient energy to deal with long nursery and school days. I read something a few days ago that said kids use the same amount of energy on a full nursery/school day as an adult does running a marathon. I have no idea how accurate that is, but if it is true then we need to make sure that they are leaving the house with a decent breakfast. However breakfast can be seen as time consuming by many, and I know many people resort to unhealthy quick fixes like breakfast biscuits or sugary cereals to keep the kids happy. After all, they do say you have to choose your battles when it comes to kids. However I personally put sugary cereals in the same bracket as junk food. They offer no nutritional benefits at all.
I do however buy Weetabix as I have found that it is the best for keeping Amber full and they make a lovely breakfast with warm milk during the colder months. Weetabix is high in fibre and low in sugar and salt. It is also fortified with iron and vitamins, including B Vitamins which are good for energy. For example per serving (2 biscuits) is only 136kcals and 1.7g of sugars. Many other cereals have around 12g of sugar! However at the same time kids need to be kids and I would never restrict anything. Shreddies and Cheerios are two other cereals that Amber loves, but as they are higher in sugar I limit these to twice a week max. Overall we need to be looking at balance. Not restricting anything but making sure meals are portioned well, all the food groups are met and treats are occasional not every day.
So here are some of my tips for a healthy start to the day and some of my favourite brands. For younger kids, Organix and Hipp Organic both do really good breakfasts. For babies Hipp offer a range of porridge pouches which come in various flavours including pear apple and apricot, fruity and apple and peach. These are lovely and flavoursome and offer a good first taste to weaning babies. These are the ones which Amber first had when she was weaning and I would highly recommend especially for on the go. These are suitable for 6+ months.
For 15+ months Hipp have a range of cereals. I was sent the Fruity O’s and Fruity Muesli. As I was saying before, many shop bought cereals contain high levels of sugar, however this range has no added sugar. The fruity O’s can be made with hot or cold milk and are similar to Cheerios. Amber wasn’t too keen on these but loved the Fruity Muesli and the crispy ducks. I taste tested both and definitely agree that the Muesli is a winner. Again this has no added sugar but lots of flavour.
Meal Prep the night before
To save time in the morning, especially if you have a large family meal preparation is key! One of my favourite breakfasts is overnight oats. You can actually make a few days worth in advance and keep it in the fridge. All you have to do is add your oats and liquid (water or milk), you can also add yoghurt if you wish to a Tupperware, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. By the morning the oats will have absorbed the liquid and all you have to do is add your toppings. I love adding fresh fruit, cinnamon or nut butter. This is usually eaten cold, but you can also microwave it to take the chill off. This also makes a great adult breakfast which you could add protein powder to, I usually add 25g-30g of whey protein, this ensures I have carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats (from the nut butter) in one meal.
Eggs are another great choice for breakfast and can be made in advance. For example you could boil eggs the night before and keep them in the fridge for when you need them. In the morning simply serve with some toast. Or you could make egg muffins, this is great as you can add ham and vegetables like peppers, onions, courgette to the mix too and kids can eat these on the go too. They also freeze well!
Another favourite in our house on a Saturday morning before swimming are smoothies. Semi-skimmed milk, frozen banana (wait until they are ripe then chop and freeze), fresh or frozen berries, oats and nut butter (if they don’t have a nut allergy). This contains carbohydrates, protein and fats and two of their 5 a day.
We also love the range of fruit pots and oat bars from Organix. The fruit pots also come in various flavours, and can be topped o porridge or served with Greek yoghurt for some no added sugar sweetness. I have also used them in flapjack recipes. Flapjacks are another recipe that can be made ahead to eat on the go.
I have spoken about these oats bars numerous times on my social media as I think they are fantastic. The ingredients are nice and simple and a wholegrain oat bar like this is also a good alternative if your kid won’t sit down to breakfast. I would serve this alongside a piece of fruit. These are a healthier and more filling alternative to ‘breakfast biscuits’ which are really just sugary biscuits with clever marketing.
The Organix Porridge and Muesli range get 10/10 for flavour and ingredients. Amber didn’t have a favourite but I thought the banana and plum porridge was fantastic. With some kids ranges the taste can be bland and I have wasted lots of money over the years on these. However this is one range I would spend on it.
I hope this post has given you some breakfast ideas and inspiration for your little ones.
*Contains PR samples