Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 easy toddler breakfast ideas

So I recently realized that my most-overused internet/pinterest/cookbook search is a pretty simple, straightforward one that I should have on lockdown by now: What in the world am I going to feed my toddler for breakfast (or in search terms, easy and/or healthy toddler breakfasts)? I mean, she'll eat almost anything, but we usually have a limited time before we have to get out of the house in the morning and whenever I ask Stenni what she wants, she invariably says pasta, which I really don't want to make at 800 am. Since the hubs leaves before Stenni and I even get out of bed, we don't have to worry about him. But for some reason, even though I obviously need to eat breakfast in the morning too, making Stenni's breakfast stumps me. But why should it be so hard? It's a pretty simple meal. So here are a few ideas that won't take you too much time or effort, and will pay off (and by will pay off I mean your child might actually eat them):
  1. Muffins of any variety. I know I talked yesterday about the peanut butter and jelly muffins from Deceptively Delicious, but any muffins will do. I make a ton of sweet muffins, but I'm also venturing into the savory muffin realm, with things like ham and cheese muffins (use Heart Smart Bisquick, chopped ham and little bits of cheddar. Stir in a little mustard. Ace!). These don't have to be terribly complicated, and if you start them when you're getting the little ones up, the oven timer will be going off by the time you get them dressed. Easy Peasy.
  2. Egg in a Hole. Use a cute cookie cutter (heart for Valentine's day, shamrock for St. Patrick's day, a big letter cutout initial for everyday, you get the idea), and kids will eat it up, literally. Stenni wants eggs all day every day now (so some days it's scrambled, some days hard-boiled, but she still won't eat an omlette unfortunately), but it's much harder to get her to eat straight-up bread. So add a piece of fruit and this is a whole meal.
  3. Pancakes. You can get fancy and add applesauce, blueberries, strawberries, oats, ground flaxseed, whatever you want to the batter to health it up. And if you want to get really fancy, you can make crepes. Then you can eat whipped cream inside them for breakfast and not even feel bad about it. That's pretty much what I do.
  4. Waffles. I like the Van's whole grain waffles for health reasons, in terms of freezer waffles (they're not the most kid-friendly though...if I were a kid, I'd want those cool french toast toaster waffles too). But most of the time, we just make them ourselves, using the same kind of guidelines for add-ins as with pancakes. Fresh strawberry waffles are a special kind of heaven, and perfect for a nice long weekend breakfast. Or if you've got some whole wheat bread laying around, just cut the crust off and put it in the wafflemaker until it's toasty and has the "waffly" impressions on it. Something about this shape just makes kids like it more!
  5. Oatmeal. All kinds of oatmeal. I like to add a banana and some peanut butter to mine (yeah, peanut butter is like my favorite food, so you'll see that it's a common theme here), but just like with pancakes and waffles you can add in almost anything! I love peaches and cream oatmeal. Just dice up some peaches and throw them in as soon as you add the oatmeal, with about a tsp. of brown sugar and some cream or half and half to drizzle over the top. Yum. Stenni's a sucker for blueberry oatmeal and also really likes it when we make pumpkin pie oatmeal (just a little pumpkin and some pie spice). This is a good budget-friendly suggestion too, especially if you are used to buying a million little oatmeal packets. It only takes a minute or two more to make it from scratch!
So that's it! That pretty much covers breakfast every day, except when Papa decides to bring us out for bagels. No one can resist a good NJ bagel. What are your best get-out-the-door weekday family and toddler-friendly breakfast suggestions?

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