We’re big proponents of empowering kids to take responsibility in the kitchen, whether we’re tasking them with making their own school lunches or stocking up on our favorite cookbooks for kids to get them cooking dinner. We know that our guide to getting kids in the kitchen by age has been a helpful start for many of you, but because our aim is always to help solve problems, we also love offering up recipes and quick meal ideas too.
For me—okay, for a lot of us!—one of the biggest problems as a parent is getting a healthy breakfast on the table fast enough that we can still get out the door on time in the morning. While Kristen’s kids pack school lunch so that she can focus on breakfast, Liz and I have the opposite solution: We have our kids make breakfast themselves while we focus on school lunch.
Given my kids’ new breakfast responsibilities, I’m thrilled to welcome a really fantastic sponsor, FlapJacked, makers of gluten-free Mighty Muffins (or as Liz calls them, “Rey’s Portion Bread”) and Protein Pancake Mix, both of which are delicious and amazingly convenient ways to feed kids a good, protein-packed breakfast every morning. Plus, they’re made without GMOs or artificial ingredients.
And yes, even young kids can make them by themselves. Whoo!
But of course, we can’t live on pancakes and muffins alone. So along with Flapjacked mixes, I’ve put together a whole bunch of other healthy breakfast recipes that kids can make themselves, and some tips on how to make it even easier for them.
English Muffin Egg Pizzas
English Muffin Egg Pizza | Photo by Antonis Achilleos for Real Simple
Every kid loves an English muffin pizza and this breakfast version, the English Muffin Egg Pizza recipe that I love from Real Simple, is no different. Do as I do and keep a big bowl of hard boiled eggs in the fridge ready to go—I boil them every Sunday afternoon—and then all the kids have to do is toast, slice, top, and broil.
Tip: If you don’t have a toaster oven for easy broiling and your kids aren’t quite ready to use the oven, the cheese can easily be melted in about 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Or, skip the cheese all together; my own kids do, and with that hard boiled egg, they still get plenty of protein.
When I first suggested yogurt parfaits as a breakfast my kids could make themselves, my boys were just… eh. Then never made them. Given that the right yogurt can be an incredibly healthy way to start the day (here are our favorite store-bought yogurts to get you started) and that my kids love the taste, I realized it was more of a process issue than a yogurt issue. It turns out that if I set up bowls of toppings the night before, my boys totally get into making these.
Tip: Take five minutes the night before to set up sliced fruit, granola, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or whatever else your kids like with their yogurt. Keep them out in separate containers or line them up in the fridge if you’re working with fresh fruit. Then, kids will be way more inclined to make these parfaits themselves. What can I say? We all love a good food bar!
Breakfast Banana Split
This is another great example of how far presentation goes when feeding kids: These Breakfast Banana Splits at Simple Healthy Kitchen are a major hit in my house! Just like with the yogurt parfaits, I slice berries the night before, and shake some granola into a little bowl In the morning. Then all my boys have to do is cut a banana and top as they wish.
Tip: My kids really like cottage cheese, so they often make this recipe as written, but feel free to substitute yogurt if that works better with your brood. Greek-style yogurt will pack in more protein, which is always a good way to start the day.
FlapJacked Mighty Muffins
My boys were sold on FlapJacked Mighty Muffins the minute they spied them in our cupboard. Double Chocolate? Cinnamon Apple? S’MORES?! For breakfast? Oh yeah. But even though these muffins sound like a sugar bomb, they only have 7 to 10 grams per serving—amazing given how yummy they are and sweet they taste to my kids. Comparatively, that’s less sugar than you find in some so-called healthy cereals.
On top of that, Mighty Muffins have 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, which definitely powers my kids up, keeping them full until snack time.
Don’t worry, I don’t expect your kids to wake up early to bake muffins every morning. (Ha! Like that would ever happen.) Mighty Muffins come in single serve containers that require kids to just peel off the top, mix in water, and microwave. In less than a minute, this healthy breakfast is done. These are honestly totally genius.
Cool Mom Eats readers can visit www.flapjacked.com through this link to get $10 off of your first order with the discount code COOLMOM. That means you can get all six muffin flavors for 50% off or a 12-ounce bag of protein pancake mix for free (shipping not included)!
Pancake Breakfast Tacos
Fruit Tacos | Munchin with Munchkin
A while back, Pancake Tacos took over social media and, while cute, I thought to myself: There’s no way that I’m going to take time to make pancakes and then take even more time to turn them into tacos. But now that my kids are making breakfast with just a little prep from me, pancake tacos are on!
When making pancakes on the weekend, I’ve been whipping up double batches to keep extra on hand in the freezer. Then, my kids just toast (or microwave) to defrost and pile fruit in the middle. I’d check out the recipe for Fruit Tacos at Munchin with Munchkin (pictured above) which is a fantastic place to start. She has really creative ideas for toppings, and if you’re up for it, a solid chocolate tortilla recipe.
Tip: I’ve started making our pancakes using FlapJacked Protein Pancake Mix, which is made with whole oats and coconut flour and fortified with whey and pea protein, so that the kids get more than just simple carbs and fruit. To bring in more healthful ingredients, let kids spread the pancakes with yogurt or applesauce before topping with fruit. Or hey, just drizzle with maple syrup for a treat.
Smoothies Made Easy
When thoughtfully mixed, smoothies are a great way to start the day. There are just a couple of challenges, though. One is that thoughtfully mixed is not always so easy; blending up a well-balanced smoothie and making sure it’s sweet without tons of added refined sugar can require a whole lot of ingredients. Which brings me to challenge number two: Even I hate measuring and chopping a million different ingredients first thing in morning, so imagine how my kids feel if they’re asked to do it.
Tip: Make-ahead smoothie packs to the rescue! You (or the kids, for that matter) can take time on the weekend to chop and measure ingredients that come together into a healthy smoothie—from fruit to veggies and coconut oil to chia seeds—then add to baggies that can be stored in the freezer.
On busy weekday mornings, all your child has to do is dump the contents of one baggie into the blender, add liquid, and blitz.
Two-Minute Microwave Egg Bake
If this recipe had you at two-minute, join the club! What a revelation that you can cook tasty eggs in the microwave. This Two-Minute Microwave Egg Bake from Babble is a welcome change-up from hard boiled eggs and they don’t require my children to work the stove in the morning. Because my groggy boys and an open flame don’t mix.
I love all of Brooke’s ideas for add-in’s, because though tasty enough, eggs made the microwave are definitely yummier with delicious ingredients mixed in.
Tip: As with the yogurt parfaits above, I help make these easier by prepping just a few mix-ins the night before these are on the kids’ breakfast menu. It really makes a huge difference. (Why is it that dicing ham or chopping spinach just feels like sooooo much more drudgery before 8 a.m.?)
Toast with Healthy Toppings
Breakfast Toasts | Hot Beauty Health
Toast is an obvious make-it-yourself option for busy mornings, especially on days when the kids have to eat on the go. But bread and butter alone don’t make for the best first meal of the day. That’s why I recently shared five healthy ways to top toast, from sweet to savory, that my kids happen to love, including some of the smart ideas from Hot Beauty Health where you can find just what goes into each of the fabulous topping ideas shown above.
Tip: With this one, kids really just have to toast, slice, and spread—and I just have to make sure that they have their favorite toppings on hand. I set out the ingredients on the counter in the morning, whether it’s an avocado or a banana, right next to the multigrain bread. This helps remind them to grab an option other than just butter. Sometimes just putting stuff at eye-level for a kid makes a huge difference.
Healthy Breakfast Balls
These are a make-ahead breakfast for sure, but if you can lure the kids into the kitchen over the weekend, they can easily whip up a batch of these Breakfast Balls at Kids Activities Blog so they’ll be ready to grab for a healthy breakfast on the run. These taste a lot like PB&J, which my kids love, but you can always change up the recipe. That’s the beauty of these: They are endlessly adaptable. We also add a little bit of coconut oil and lots of flax and chia seeds to ours, because why not.
Tip: Once made, these can be stored in the fridge for a week. Then you’ve got a breakfast that’s perfectly well-rounded, paired with nothing more than a banana or your kids’ own favorite grab-and-go fruit. This makes these especially great for kids who are always late for that darn bus.
Thanks to our sponsor FlapJacked for making protein-packed, delicious breakfast options that make parents’ lives easier. To learn more and find more than 100 recipes, check out the FlapJacked website, and you can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Special offer: Cool Mom Eats readers can visit flapjacked.com through this link to get $10 off of your first order with the discount code COOLMOM. That means you can get all six muffin flavors for 50% off or a 12-ounce bag of protein pancake mix for free (shipping not included)!