12 Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Toddlers
When it comes to the first meal of the day, I am a HUGE advocate for a well rounded, nutritionally dense breakfast (like this tasty breakfast smoothie). But most people who come to me for nutrition coaching struggle with breakfast ideas. And this is made insanely more difficult when it comes to kiddos!
Breakfast is one of those meals that just makes my eye twitch. Not in the actual meal but because so many people fail at it (#sorrynotsorry).
When it comes to breakfast ideas, a lot needs to be taken into thought:
- Nutrient density
Breakfast is truly important and more so for your kids!
When I was first starting on my journey to health, I was not a breakfast eater. And I’ll debate it’s important in another blog post for kids- breakfast is a must. And a healthy one at that.
The reason I get so frustrated with poor breakfast choices it that I feel like we almost set our kids up for failure when we hand them a bunch of sugar and then expect them to do things like “listen”, “focus” and “behave”.
In doing this, we have given their bodies so little fuel and asked them to go be rockstars. Seems a bit cruel to me.
The issue with giving kids and toddlers a lackluster breakfast is that they’ll either be hungry again in an hour, they’ll have a huge sugar crash, or they’ll be so wound up it’s impractical to ask them to stay calm and listen.
Toddlers are little people with big emotions, they need all the tools we can give them to keep them on track!
So, what should a healthy breakfast look like for a toddler?
I’m not saying your kid needs a bodybuilders diet of chicken and broccoli first thing in the morning (ironically my toddler would be okay with that, wtf).
I am saying that protein helps wake up the body, it takes a while to digest (which keeps them full), and it helps replenish enzymes that we’ve lost (repairs muscle, boosts immune system etc).
But mostly because of the full factor. Protein takes forever to digest so it’ll help keep your toddlers full but also control any major sugar release from whatever it’s paired with.
Eggs are awesome, but so are plant based proteins: chia seeds (check out how to get more chia seeds into your diet here), hemp hearts etc. Yogurts, collagen, all of them are awesome.
I like to make sure my girls get some sort of healthy fat for breakfast. Think seeds, nuts, avocados. In young kids, the brain needs healthy fats to boost development.
Plus, fats have more calories per gram (9kcal versus four for protein and carbs) so it’s a more satisfying and fueling meal when you’re sending them off to school.
This one is a no-brainer to me. Focus on nutrient dense foods for all meals, not just breakfast.
Buuuttt, when it comes to breakfast ideas, look for real food recipes. Your toddler needs all the extra vitamins and minerals that come with fruits, veggies and grains. This helps absolutely everything in their body.
As a busy mom, I totally understand this. Yes, it would be lovely to cook a full course meal all the time. But the reality is that more often than not we’re rushed, the mornings are crazy (though here’s some tips to make them less stressful) and we need something somewhat fast.
And while I totally believe in making it easy, you still need to give your toddlers a quality breakfast. And cheerios are not a food group.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my girls are pretty great eaters. But even then, if there’s one thing I’ve found it’s that while toddlers eat a lot, they prefer everything in snack form and not one big meal.
Meaning, they normally like multiple things on their plate when it comes to any breakfast ideas. Keeping that in mind, below are a few “snack-like” options and a few regular options to give your toddlers a healthy start to the day.
Our staple is this strawberries and cream parfait. It has a nice balance and it tastes freaking decadent. But truthfully, any yogurt + fruit + fat combo will work!
Avocado Toast + Egg + Fruit
My girls looooovvveeee avocado toast (who doesn’t?!). it’s great by itself with fruit or veg but we like to rock it with an egg and topped with some hemp hearts for an extra calorie boost.
When I first heard about overnight oats, I was skeptical. Cold oatmeal sounds gross. But it turns out it’s effing amazing.
Our favorite is PB&J overnight oats but truthfully, my daughter will devour any possible flavor combo. Use what you have between fruit,
nuts/fats and rock it.
A staple if there ever was one! We eat pancakes a couple of time per week. And while I don’t always have time to make them, I do make big batches, freeze between parchment paper and pop them in the oven for busier mornings.
Right now, we’re rocking these green smoothie pancakes but we like to switch it up. Just remember, quality first. Find pancake recipes loaded with nutrients (like almond flour, walnuts, seeds etc) and not just flour out of a box. I have a ton of them on my breakfast page because as I mentioned, we’re addicts ?
Homemade Granola + Fruit/Veg
This is a staple for quick mornings! I normally always have granola kicking around so we toss on some almond milk and pair it with fruit and veg.
Just make sure your granola is loaded with healthy nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds etc) and not just dried fruit and cane sugar. We love this crunchy almond granola.
We also like to pair a guacamole pack with our veg when we’re having super ravenous days.
Egg Muffins + Fruit + Nuts
Egg muffins are simple to make (I like these green ones because they girls get a serving of veggies in them!) and filled with protein.
Pair it with some fruit and nuts and you’ve a nicely balanced meal. Plus, it’s a super speedy one!
I love this make ahead breakfast because it’s filled with everything good! Made with chia seeds (which should almost be in every kids diet) you can put any add-in you like. Fruit, nuts, nut butter, protein powder etc to make it as fueling as you need it!
My girls love this chocolate banana chia pudding but just a basic one with berries and granola.
Eggs + Fruit + Muffin
This is a staple one around here with any kind of eggs (scrambled, hard boiled or fried). We whip them up and grab a homemade muffin and some fruit. Breakfast is done in under ten minutes and it’s simple!
Some kids are finicky on omelets, but my girls love omelets and fruit. I throw in their favorite veggies and they’re good to go. Let your kid pick out their own veggies/filling and they’ll be much more inclined to eat it (check out how to help kids eat healthy here).
A life staple in our house! Smoothies are EASILY the simplest way to load your kiddos up with healthy ingredients. Use a combo of nuts and seeds to keep the protein intake up or opt for collagen or vegan protein powder
Cottage Cheese + Fruit + Nut Butter + Seeds
A used to freaking love this one before I became dairy free (check out how to cut dairy here). Mix the nut butter and cottage cheese together and top with fruit. Then throw in some seeds (like pumpkin) for an added nutritional boost and some crunch!
A classic breakfast idea if there ever was one! Where most people eff this up is that they grab a bag of instant oatmeal and call it a day. Blah.
Make your own! Steel cut oats are going to have more protein and nutritional value to them than regular but regular are faster.
You can toss in some protein powder to make a tasty protein packed bowl, or just add in some hemp hearts, nut butters, flax and chia. With some fruit for sweetness of course. Many people worry about the calorie content of that kind of bowl and while you do need to be aware of it, when it comes to toddlers, they normally need calorie dense foods.
Plus, quality trumps quantity most of the time. Aim for nutrients.
Don’t forget to pin these healthy breakfast ideas for kids!
When it comes to breakfast ideas for toddlers, aim for nutrient dense meals loaded with proteins and healthy fats. There’s lots of tricks to use (collagen for protein in any bowl or smoothie, freezing pancakes for the next day, making breakfast the night before) to keep mornings a little less crazy.
Regardless, quality should come first. Toddlers need the energy and they need the nutrients. And this way, maybe you won’t be asked for a snack within thirty minutes after breakfast ?