Breakfast ideas for kids

toddler food

by Adejumoke Ilori |
Updated on

It is completely normal for toddlers to choose from a small number of foods, refuse them totally, or even transform their likings. But, one thing you should not do, is to force your child to eat something they do not want to eat.

The best way to approach the situation, is to allow your little one choose between 1 to 3 healthy meals and continue to offer new food types to help encourage them.

Offering a diverse range of foods to reduce toddler tantrums, or allowing your child to pick what they want, will slowly allow them to eat a healthy breakfast on their own. As toddlers love feeding themselves and being independent where possible, offering your child finger foods instead of cooked ones that require a fork or spoon to eat, helps boost their motor skills too.

With the best foods for toddlers including protein like meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds and soy, dairy such as milk, yogurt, cheese or calcium-fortified soymilk, fruits and vegetables, grains such as whole wheat bread and oatmeal, we have rounded up the best healthy meals for your toddler.

One fried egg on a yellow plate. Minimalism concept.

1). Eggs

However, you like them, eggs are a breakfast classic – and that goes for your toddler, too. ‘Try scrambled or hard boiled – remember to cook them through, especially for under-ones,’ says nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. ‘One of my recommendations is scrambled egg on toast with chopped peppers and grilled tomatoes on the side. Add a glass of milk and you have a fully balanced meal.’

2). Pancakes

Pancakes are a great breakfast idea because you can top them with lots of healthy, colourful fruit. Perhaps keep them as an occasional treat as they can be sugary or try a simple recipe of egg and banana!

3). Full English

Yes, you can do a toddler version of this. Just add baked beans, grilled tomatoes and some sausages – perhaps not bacon right now because of the high salt content. Try veggie sausages or ‘Go for plain sausages with a high meat content,’ says Charlotte. ‘Lower quality ones have additives and “leftover meats” which are lower in vitamins and iron.’

4). Low sugar cereals

Some cereals can be high in sugar, even those that are advertised as for kids, so be label savvy. ‘Where possible, look for around 5g sugar per 100g of product, but no more than 15g/100g,’ says Charlotte. ‘Weetabix is a great option that’s full of fibre and energy.’ Add milk to taste, or try these dairy-free ideas. BEAR Alphabites are made using natural ingredients and contain no refined sugar, salt, artificial colours or flavours. They're available in two flavours: Multigrain and Cocoa Multigrain.

5). Porridge

Another simple meal with bags of fibre and energy. ‘Go for porridge that isn’t flavoured beforehand,’ says Charlotte.‘Add a handful of dried or fresh fruit to give colour, a vitamin boost and to sweeten it without sugary honey.’

Oatmeal porridge in bowl served with banana, almonds and almond milk for healthy breakfast. Old wooden table background. Healthy lifestyle concept

6). Fruit

More of a breakfast addition than a meal in itself. ‘A bowl of fruit on its own may not give your toddler the energy and range of nutrients he needs,’ says Charlotte.

Instead, mash some banana onto toast or add apple and berries to cereal. Fresh, diluted fruit juice is also nice, especially if the breakfast contains egg, beans or other foods rich in iron. ‘The Vitamin C in the juice will help the iron be more readily absorbed in your toddler’s body,’ explains Charlotte.

7). Toast

Toast with spread is quick and easy – but don’t go overboard on ones that tend to be high in sugar, such as jam and chocolate spread. ‘Go for marmite and nut butters, which contain lots of iron and protein for your child’s growth and development,’ says Charlotte. Make bread more interesting by switching up the menu to include bagels and English muffins. And get inspired with gluten-free ideas if your child's intolerant.

For a little treat, try eggy bread with marmite. It is a great source of B vitamins (aka brain food). ‘Eggy bread tends to be fried though, so this is probably best every so often and dry fried,’ says Charlotte.

buttered bread on white plate

It takes time for babies and toddlers to blend and accept new tastes and meal ideas, but they will get there. If you're struggling with a fussy toddler it may help to give them two options for their meals which they can choose from - giving them more than two options can be overwhelming and could trigger a meltdown, but if they pick from two they feel like they have made a decision and everyone should be happy.

Charlotte Stirling-Reed is a nutrition consultant and founder of SR Nutrition.

Mummy to a little girl, Adejumoke Ilori is Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. With a BA hon in Creative Writing, she has worked for digital platforms, where she has empowered women from the inside and out, by sharing real life stories based on relationships and loving yourself.

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