An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Calling all parents: Wake up your kids to breakfast

  • Published
  • By Kathy Steinbrecher
  • Health Promotion Dietitian

Getting the kids up and ready for their school day can be a challenge for parents and part of the challenge is preparing a healthy breakfast.  In the morning, children are running low on fuel, so breakfast is the worst time for them to skip a meal. Breakfast revs up their bodies after a night's sleep and gives children energy and nutrients to face the day.  Breakfast is even more important for young children who are growing and developing. 


Benefits of eating a regular breakfast are improved math, reading and standardized test scores; better behavior in school and ability to get along with peers; improved attention, memory and problem-solving skills; less likely to be overweight with lower cholesterol levels.


Let's look at some tasty, breakfast tips using grains, fruits and vegetables for the complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals kids need to grow, develop and stay alert for school. With a little planning the night before, parents can be assured that their children will begin the day with a nutritious start.


Six tips for breakfast:


1. Blend up a breakfast smoothie. Combine fruits, milk, yogurt, and other ingredients. Many of recipes can be found online to satisfy even the pickiest. 


2.  Add raisins, chopped dates or other dried fruits to quick-cooking oatmeal.  Prepare the oats with milk rather than water for added nutrients.  For a real, "on-the-go" container, serve in an ice cream cone.


3. Make a breakfast sandwich. Top a whole-wheat English muffin with peanut or almond butter and banana slices, or a poached egg, a slice ham and low fat cheese. 


4. Vegetables muffins?   Make carrot cake or zucchini bread muffins.


5.  Burritos filled with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese and vegetables of choice and wrapped tightly. Make a quick, vegetable-and-cheese quesadilla in a nonstick pan or microwave.


6.  Pizza for breakfast?  Leftover veggie pizza, hot or cold, or a slice of fruit pizza can be nutritious.


7. Custom trail mix with your favorite dry cereal, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.


Some last important thoughts for parents:


Breakfast eating parents leads to breakfast eating kids and creates a positive attitude toward breakfast.  It provides fuel for the demands of a fast-paced lifestyle.