Breakfast has the nickname ‘the most important meal of the day’ for a reason: research from The University of Iowa found that kids who ate breakfast did better academically, especially in math, science, and reading. Giving your kids a healthy start to their day will help them be more energized, less moody, and more engaged in class. But, the truth is, when time is tight you might not have time to whip up a full meal, and a glass of juice and a bowl of cereal can seem like the quick and healthy(ish) option. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with sugar and quick-burn energy, so aren’t the best choice. So, we’ve collected 6 breakfast hacks to help you whip up a healthy menu every morning in about the same time it takes to pour that juice and cereal.
1) Choose whole grains or oatmeal instead of fortified cereals
Fortified cereals sound like a good thing, right? Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case: the reason cereals today are fortified is because they have been stripped of their nutrients, so the fortification is simply adding in what was already there before processing. So, while some vitamins and minerals are provided, it’s still far from healthy. The same processing that robbed the cereal of its vitamins also removed its fibre, which means it will spike your child’s blood sugar, leaving them tired, hungry, and cranky. By choosing whole grains or oatmeal, your child will get all the vitamins and minerals in their original, unprocessed package!
2) Don’t forget protein
If you want your little ones to stay full until lunch, you need to include some healthy protein! Eggs are a great and quick way to include a filling protein: try an egg sandwich, omelette, or scrambled eggs stuffed in a gluten free pita or wrapped in a non-GMO corn tortilla. Unsweetened, natural nut butters are also a fantastic way to add some healthy protein.
3) Add a serving of fruit
Add some vitamins and nutrients with a serving of healthy, delicious fruit on the side or as a topping. Bananas and berries are both great choices for adding nutrients to cereal, oatmeal, and healthy pancakes.
4) Sneak in some veggies
Organic edamame, beans, spinach, peppers, and other vegetables are great additions to omelettes and scrambled eggs. You can also sneak a handful of greens into a healthy smoothie, and hide them with the great taste of added fruit!
5) Blend up a smoothie
Smoothies are simple to make and also so versatile! You can create your own flavour combinations or go with tried and tested flavours like berry and chocolate. They’re far better than juice and they allow you to cram in all kinds of nutritious ingredients, like fresh fruit, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein powder. Bonus - you can toss the ingredients in your blender the night before, then store it overnight in the fridge to cut down time in the morning! Here are our favourite smoothie recipes, and here is our secret to the thickest smoothie EVER.
6) Make healthy waffles or pancakes and freeze for later!
We know life is busy. Especially in the morning, trying to get kids up and out the door can range from ‘sorta hectic’ to ‘Defcon 5 tornado of chaos’. There’s no way we expect you to spend an hour each morning on breakfast; instead, we’re big fans of making things in batches and freezing them for later. These amazing breakfast pancakes are a source of protein and fibre, plus they can be frozen then popped in the toaster for a quick reheat!
Breakfast Protein Pancakes
BY MIRIANA NARCISO, MOTHER & PEDIATRIC NURSE
- Gluten-free organic pancake mix of your choice
(try versions that feature brown rice, tapioca, potato or quinoa in place of wheat). Use enough powder to make approx. 15 pancakes.
- 2 to 3 scoops of protein powder
- 3 whole organic eggs
- Milk or milk substitute
(almond, cashew, coconut, etc.)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 3 tbsp of hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 organic banana, mashed
- 1 peeled apple, grated (optional)
In a large bowl, sift together the pancake mix, protein powder, hemp hearts and chia seeds. Pour in the eggs, milk, olive oil, coconut oil, banana and apple; mix until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.