There are (so many) mornings where I struggle to come up with breakfast ideas for my littles. I figured I couldn't be alone in my breakfast block -- so I've compiled a full week of toddler breakfast ideas for quick reference, plus some extras.
The combos in all these meal ideas are based on the half-quarter-quarter formula devised by Harvard University nutrition experts. It says this: at any given meal, feed kids HALF FRUITS/VEGGIES, ONE QUARTER WHOLE GRAINS, AND ONE QUARTER HEALTHY PROTEIN (PLUS ADDED FATS/DAIRY AS DESIRED).
Breakfast is also notorious for sneaky sugars, so we've made recommendations based on zero added sugar in your toddler's first meal of the day.
🍽 Monday: Whole grain pancakes, like our Amara Oat n' Berries pancake recipe or these simple 3-ingredient pancakes from Meaningful Eats. To complete the meal, top with fresh berries and an optional dollop of organic coconut butter, nut butter, or unsweetened chia pudding.
🍽 Tuesday: A black bean, veggie burrito with whole grain tortilla. Simply spread Amara Black Bean & Corn on a whole wheat tortilla, fill with scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of veggies. Some that come to mind are avocado, tomato, chopped fresh spinach and mushrooms. You can serve it rolled up or open with a fork if your kiddo has trouble keeping the burrito together.
🍽 Wednesday: Steel cut oats. I like making a big batch of steel cut oats the night before (love this recipe!), so when I wake up in the morning, I just have to warm them up a bit and serve. Sometimes the porridge can be a little thick, so just thin it with a bit of milk or water first. Instead of adding sugar to your oats, try adding a bit of vanilla extract or, even better, vanilla bean, for flavor. Also fresh fruit goes a long way. You can mix in berries, chunks of cooked apple or pear, or fresh mango or peach to sweeten the pot naturally. Finally for some protein and fat, drizzle in some nut or seed butter and / or top with some toasted nuts and seeds. Try sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, chia seed and hemp hearts for crunch. For super quick option, you can also give this treatment to both of our Amara whole grain cereals.
🍽 Thursday: Fancy toast. Toast a slice of wholegrain bread and top with a protein + fruit / veg. Some of my favorite combos:
- Almond butter / banana
- Goat cheese / tomato
- Hummus / cucumber
- Peanut butter / raspberry
Serve with a side of organic, plain whole milk yogurt swirled with one of our Amara Superfruit Blends.
🍽 Friday: Egg and cheddar cheese sandwich on sprouted seed bread (1/2 sandwich is a good portion). Serve alongside a naturally sweetened smoothie packed with fruits and veggies like this Blueberry, Kale, Avocado smoothie from Well Plated by Erin.
🍽 Saturday: Organic cottage cheese topped with tropical fresh fruit such as diced kiwi, pineapple, mandarin orange slices, and pomegranate seeds. Serve alongside a multigrain muffin with fruits and veggies but no added sugar, like this one from Healthy, Busy Baker.
🍽 Sunday: Hard boiled egg, a slice of multigrain bread topped with smashed avocado, and a fruit salad of apples, grapes, and watermelon.
By trying to follow this proportional rule (imagine a plate cut in 4 quarters, the top two quarters are fruits and vegetables, the bottom quarter is whole grains and the other quarter is protein), you can help ensure your child has access to the right things in the right amounts. It’s designed to deliver a healthy balance of macronutrients (carbs/fat/protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
And of course, the more you can build variety and diversity of foods into the meal equation, the better! It will help grow open-minded eaters and help avoid toxic metal build up from overexposure to the same foods.
Using Harvard’s approach, you can easily build your own rotation of breakfast menus -- but we hope this week of ideas gives you a jump start. (You may notice, too, that by simply mixing and matching some mainstays, you can expand these seven meals into a full month’s worth of ideas.)
These meals are free of added sugar and are mainly plant-based. Whatever your breakfast personality, focus on whole, unprocessed foods, and you're on your way!
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