Iowa Specialty Hospital

Tips for a Better Breakfast

September 29, 2021

Whether it’s a time crunch, picky eaters, or kids without morning appetites – many things can make for a stressful, chaotic morning, which can lead to a stressful, chaotic day.  That’s no fun for anyone. Research shows that breaking an overnight fast with a balanced meal can make a significant difference in overall health and well-being, especially our kiddos.

Knowing what kind of obstacles you have and how to overcome them in the morning can make a world of difference.  Start your day off right based on your circumstance:

If you wake up on time, enjoy…

  • Scrambled eggs with toast and fruit (jazz up your eggs with tomato, onion, jalapeno, cheddar cheese!) 
  • Fresh whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt

If you hit snooze once…

  • English muffin sandwich: toasted whole grain English muffin, low-fat cheese, deli ham all zapped in the microwave to warm the cheese and ham then grab a piece of fruit
  • Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs with beans, salsa, cheese then wrap in a whole grain tortilla
  • Upgraded cereal:  add some fresh cut fruit to low-sugar cereal or oatmeal
  • Quick parfait: layer yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, granola or whole-grain cereal

If you hit snooze 2+ times…

  • Instant plain oatmeal with craisins and almonds
  • 45 second scramble: whish eggs with a splash of milk and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir then put back in for another 10 seconds
  • Peanut butter banana toast or sandwich
  • Everything Bagel or wrap: Smear on toast, mini bagel, or tortilla some whipped cream cheese and sprinkle with Everything Bagel seasoning
  • Quick smoothie:  Throw milk and frozen fruit in the blender and blitz!

A couple suggestions for improving your morning flow: 

  • The night before, make a breakfast plan as you clean up from dinner.  Go as far as setting the table and pulling out cooking utensils you’ll need for the morning, too!
  • Pre-chop as much as you can to make your morning more efficient
  • Pack a brown bag breakfast 
  • Try overnight oats so it’s already assembled and all you have to do is grab and go!

If you have a picky eater

  • Upgrade their favorites with a whole-grain version (pancakes, waffles, tortillas – all can be homemade and stored in the freezer or store bought)
  • Make it fun: try smearing a whole-grain hot dog bun with nut butter and putting a banana in place of the hot dog!
  • Try weaning your kiddo away from high-sugar cereal by combining a low sugar cereal in with it
  • Dinner for breakfast: the best breakfast for kids is a breakfast they’ll eat.  Try serving leftovers, or a non-traditional breakfast food, like a turkey sandwich!

If your little one doesn’t each much in the morning

  • Spread it out: have a piece of fruit and milk at home, then send a low-sugar breakfast bar for them to have on the way to school.
  • Opt for school breakfast
  • Role model it:  if your child sees you making time to eat a healthy meal, they’ll be more likely to join you

Want more ideas specific to you and your family?  Or just have questions about feeding your family?  Schedule an appointment with Amber Kastler, MFCS, RD, LD, one of our registered dietitians!


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