Like most other families, we often get stuck in a food rut. It’s so easy to fall into old habits when you are tired, stressed, busy or just plain uninspired. Despite the two little people running circles around me in the early morning, my brain just cannot seem to kick into gear. So sometimes I realise that I have fed my kids toast every day for breakfast for months on end. And let’s face it, this is doing pretty ok in the grand scheme of things … I mean, they are getting fed! But then of course kids often have sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner. Hello Wheat, Wheat and more Wheat! It’s always better to eat a variety of foods – for nutrition of course, but also for the experience of being exposed to different foods and choice.
If you find yourself in a regular breakfast monotony, refer to this list and see if you can change it up a few times a week. With each item listed, an ongoing staple to include on the side can be a variety of fruits to choose from. I didn’t add it to the list below, but aim to include 2 different fruits each day alongside your family’s main breakfast.
9 Weekday Breakfast Ideas
Many people may think that making pancakes is not achievable in the mornings, but I beg to differ. I can get the pancakes going in the time it takes the toast to be ready. Practice is the key. And, it really helps if you have your dry ingredients ready to go the night before. Then all you need to do is add the wet ingredients and turn on your pan. Of course as we are talking about variety, make sure you use a different flour than plain white or wholewheat, such as spelt, chickpea, buckwheat or gluten-free flour mix.
The Perfect Healthy Pancake Mix
- 1 Cup Alternative Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbsp Coconut (or Raw) Sugar
- 1 Egg (or 1 Tbsp Ground Flax Mixed with 1 Tbsp Water)
- 3/4 Cup Milk of Choice
(note: for Waffle Mix, add 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil to the above).
2. Overnight Oats:
I love overnight oats because it takes minutes to pull together at night before bed, and then breakfast is done. My recipe for Superfood Soaked Oats is really fresh with a grated apple and shreds of coconut.
Healthy muffins are such a great kids’ breakfast, lunchbox addition or after school snack, because kids feel like they are getting a treat and because they freeze so well. You can make a double batch one day and then freeze them up – simply take one out and defrost for 30 seconds in the microwave when needed, or just add directly to the lunchbox in the morning and it will defrost through the day. I like making a mixture of standard and mini sized. See my recipes for One Bowl Vegan Banana Muffins and lots of hidden goodness in these Apple Cinnamon, Carrot and Sweet Potato Mini Muffins. Or for a savoury version, try these Sausage Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins.
4. Breakfast Bars:
So many great options out there for bars and protein balls. They are the perfect food for kids as they are filled with healthy fats and slow release carbs. I like this recipe for No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from The Healthy Mummy, and if you’re the type to want to use what you have on hand and get creative rather than follow a recipe, I’ve got a post for DIY Energy Bars. Also see my recipe for Salted Choc Chip and Tahini Swirl Bliss Balls.
Two perfectly protein packed eggs is a great start to the day! Somehow I always forget that we can do eggs on the weekdays rather than just on the weekends. Like pancakes, it is totally achievable to turn on the stove – it literally takes 5 minutes. Fried or a simple omelette are the easiest and fastest choices. If your kids like boiled eggs, even better as you can prepare them in a batch for the week.
Check out these adorable Mini Lodge Cast Iron pans here – perfect for an individual egg!
I’m a big feeder and it does worry me sometimes that a smoothie won’t fill them up, but if you think of the ingredients inside, then you can rest assured it is much better than toast or cereal. You can always add a handful of oats or boost with a Vegan protein powder. Here is our favourite smoothie recipe – kids love the grainy texture of the cacoa nibs!
Peanut Butter and Banana “Choc Chip” Smoothie (serves 1)
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Cup Milk of Choice
- 1 Heaped Tbsp Nut Butter
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
Blend for 30 seconds or until the banana and the milk have incorporated. Aim to leave some bits of cacao nibs!
7. Yogurt, Honey and Granola
I often break up the toast monotony with some good old yogurt topped with honey. So nice to have a jar full of homemade granola in your pantry – it’s so much cheaper than shop bought! Makes a ton, too. See my recipe for How to Make Granola without a Recipe, or if you prefer to follow an exact recipe, then try one of my favourite combinations, Toasted Coconut, Cinnamon and Sesame Granola.
8. Rice Crackers with Various Toppings:
OK so I know this is pretty similar to the toast concept but at least it varies things up with rice. My kids love cream cheese, or nut butter with honey or smashed avocado.
One of the main tips for getting kids to try something they claim not to like is to try serving it in a different way. So if they don’t go for the cold overnight oats, then maybe they might like a warm oatmeal or porridge. I’ve been experimenting with swopping oats for different grains/seeds – Try this recipe for Chocolate and Coconut Mixed Grain Porridge with quinoa, buckwheat, millet and teff (use 1 or all of those in any combination).
I hope these choices help give you a little inspiration for the busy weekday mornings. Don’t forget to prepare the night before where you can and/or batch cook on the weekends and freeze – that certainly makes creating varied and healthy breakfasts a lot easier.