Breakfast is an important meal for anyone, but especially active growing children. However, mornings can be chaotic, rushed for many families. So having a handful of healthy toddler breakfast ideas can be a real game changer for getting everyone fed and out the door.
If you are a loyal and longtime TNN follower, you know that my daughter, Alice, is getting ready to start second grade and is long past her toddler years. However, I get requests almost on the daily from mamas and papas asking for easy, healthy toddler-friendly meal ideas. And as a seasoned mama and preschool teacher of 18 years, I definitely understand the struggle of finding healthy toddler foods…especially breakfast ideas!
The toddler years can be tricky when it comes to food. Children are not only developing their independence (“No!” “I do!”), but can also develop aversions to once-enjoyed foods or new foods for a variety of reasons (read Why Your Child Won’t Try New Foods…and How To Turn it Around). While all of this can be wildly frustrating, it is also usually completely normal.*
*In some cases, extreme prolonged “picky eating” can be an indication of sensory processing or other issues. It is always a good idea to keep your doctor in the loop about your child’s eating habits so that they can direct you to appropriate supports and trained professionals when needed.
Important things to remember when making a healthy toddler breakfast
- Offer variety. Rotating through meals/recipes not only helps children to explore a variety of new foods and textures, but it allows them to get a variety of important nutrients and vitamins naturally into their diet. It can be super tempting to serve your toddler’s favorite smoothie every morning for breakfast, but try switching up your smoothie recipe or adding oatmeal or a veggie-loaded omelet into the rotation.
- Balance is important. This important at all meals for toddlers and kids. Making sure to offer your blueberry-loving child protein, healthy fat, carbohydrates and other fruits/veggies will help to not only satiate their hunger and give them fuel for all that playground time, but will get them used to variety and the different food groups. And, again will provide their bodies with important vitamins and minerals naturally found in their food.
Trying to figure out what is healthy, balanced and kiddo friendly? Here are some of my favorite (and reader favorite) healthy toddler breakfast ideas:
1. Muffin Tin Meals
This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. A meal served in a muffin tin. This is a trick I learned when Alice was a toddler and it was a total game changer for both of us! It encouraged me to offer her a variety and she felt empowered by all the choices put in front of her in a neat and organized way.
Many followers have gone on to try muffin tin meals with their own toddlers and share that it has been an incredibly helpful tool for helping their little ones at meal times.
My rule of thumb when creating a muffin tin meal is to offer some foods that the child loves and will absolutely eat. Some that he/she likes okay, but doesn’t always eat. And one new food.
Muffin tin meals are great for simplifying breakfast, as you can just put a little of this or a little of that and suddenly a meal is made! I use a 6-hole muffin tin and find it to be the perfect size for little ones!
Oatmeal is a great toddler breakfast idea since it is so easy to make either the night before or while you are getting ready. Plus it can take on a variety of flavors and contains so many nutrients! You can up the protein in oatmeal by adding a whisked egg or stirring in some full-fat plain yogurt. You can even add a variety of fruits and even veggies to oatmeal!
If you need to simplify oatmeal and mornings even more, one of my favorite hacks is to make it in my Instant Pot.
3. Healthy Muffins
Muffins became my go-to breakfast when my daughter was little and still remains one of family’s favorite breakfasts for busy mornings. I love that you can easily make them ahead of time to make throwing a healthy toddler breakfast together that much easier. Plus, they are already the perfect portion size and can go on the go with you if you need a quick snack or breakfast!
Make sure whatever muffins you serve your toddler is full of nutrient dense ingredients to make for a filling and balanced breakfast.
My Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins are a total toddler breakfast favorite and moms and dads love them too because they are easily made in your blender. With oats as their main ingredient, they are loaded with fruit and even veggies! These are some other super healthy and easy muffin ideas for your toddler’s breakfast!
Make them hard boiled and enjoy them with some sliced avocado. Scramble them up and top with a little cheese and a side of slide apples. Serve them sunny side up with your favorite toast. Or (our family’s favorite way), in a veggie-loaded omelet with a side of fruit. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can take on lots of different flavors and forms for your little one. Not only that, but they are a great source of protein, so important for that first meal of the day.
For a sweeter egg-packed breakfast option, try Sweet Little Breakfast Soufflés or Pumpkin Breakfast Soufflé.
Or if you love savory like us, try our family’s favorite broccoli omelet that we can make in about 15 minutes and serves our family of 3.
·1-2 handfuls of chopped broccoli florets (depending on how much broccoli you want)
·6-7 eggs, whisked
·1/2 cup shredded cheese
·1 tablespoon cooking oil (we use avocado oil)
·salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil and pan are hot, add chopped broccoli and sautéed for about 4-5 minutes or until tender. Scoop out of pan, put aside for a moment. Add the eggs to the hot skillet, let cook for a few minutes or until the bottom and sides of the omelet set. Add the cooked broccoli and the cheese and salt and pepper. Using a spatula, fold the omelette in half and continue to cook until eggs are cooked through.
4. Waffles or Pancakes
Great for those developing pincher grasps to practice picking up or for kiddos to practice spearing with a fork, pancakes and waffles are a great healthy toddler breakfast idea.
I like to make a big batch on the weekends for breakfast and then save the leftovers in my fridge or freezer for quick breakfasts. You can reheat them quickly in a toaster oven, on the stove top or even the microwave. We like topping them with a little fresh fruit, yogurt or homemade applesauce .
Some healthy recipes to try: Oatmeal Green Smoothie Waffles (these cook up great at pancakes too) or Superhero Waffles
5. Breakfast Cookies
Yep. I said cookies! And what toddler isn’t going to get excited about cookies for breakfast! And breakfast cookies (like muffins) are not only great to make ahead of time, but to take with you on the go!
Plus, they make for a great healthy snack, too!
Try: Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies or Soft Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cookies
Smoothies are absolutely a family breakfast staple! I love that you can add so many great fruits and veggies into a smoothie and add in a little yogurt or milk for some added protein! We have even added oats to our smoothies for some extra carbs!
I like to make sure there is a healthy balance of fruits and veggies when making a smoothie so that we don’t have a blood sugar crash soon after breakfast. I also like to add nut butter or avocados into my smoothies for a healthy fat. And chia seeds and flax add an extra punch of nutrients in a smoothie!
Some favorite smoothie recipes to try:
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie (with veggies)
- Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie (with greens!)
- Power-Up Green Smoothie
- Vitamin C Immune Boosting Smoothie
7. Plain Yogurt
I’ve mentioned that I love to incorporate full-fat plain yogurt into many of the above breakfasts, but plain yogurt can also be the great start of an easy breakfast! It is full of protein and fat (I opt for full-fat because its great for a growing brain) and plain yogurt can easily be flavored to suit your little ones favorite flavors!
I highly suggest using plain yogurt and sweetening it yourself, as many flavored yogurts have more added sugar than I find ideal to start the day with.
If dairy-free is needed, try this recipe for homemade coconut yogurt !
Some things we love to add to plain yogurt:
- Chia jam
- mashed ripe banana
- hemp hearts or chia seeds (for a little texture and extra nutrients)
- unsweetened applesauce
- pumpkin or butternut squash puree
- A little maple syrup
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