Breakfast Recipes For Toddlers

As babies quickly grow into toddlers their personalities begin to blossom. Their speech and vocabulary are developing rapidly. They have opinions of their own, and are ready and willing to share these ideas with anyone who will listen. Listening to their...

As babies quickly grow into toddlers their personalities begin to blossom. Their speech and vocabulary are developing rapidly. They have opinions of their own, and are ready and willing to share these ideas with anyone who will listen. Listening to their stories and imaginations is wonderful and exciting for parents. Their precious little voices are finally able to help them share all of the things they have been thinking, and as parents, it is so nice to know exactly what they want. However, they definitely know exactly what they want, and can have very definite opinions at times. The little bundle of joy who not so long ago was happy to have a highchair tray full of dry Cheerios for breakfast, now has his own ideas of what breakfast should and should not involve, and is ready and willing to share these thoughts with pretty much anyone who will listen. And, consequently, mealtime becomes more of a challenge. Not only do parents face the challenge of encouraging toddlers to eat a balance of foods from every food group, simply getting them to eat anything at all can be difficult.

As we all know, good nutrition is important for young children. And, as anyone who has ever raised a toddler can tell you, good nutrition doesn't always happen. We can make and serve well-balanced meals, being sure to include samples from every food group, but that does not mean that what is actually eaten is balanced in any way. Having bananas on the plate does not in any way indicate that bananas will actually be eaten at any time that day. And, holding out on the kids does not make said banana any more appealing. We can threaten, bribe, and bargain all we want to try to encourage the toddler to eat the healthy meal set before him, but it quickly becomes apparent that the toddler can hold out much longer than the parent. The best we can do is make sure the child is offered well balanced meals, and to do so in creative, fun, and exciting ways. Also, keep in mind that a child's diet may not be well-balanced in regards to a particular meal, or even a particular day, but what is important is that it is well-balanced over the course of a week or two. Many children will not touch a piece of fruit this week, but eat as many apples, grapes, and bananas as he can find next week. In the overall scheme of things, it should balance out.

Knowing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as parents we want to encourage our toddler's day to begin with something semi-healthy to eat. While the occasional pop tart never hurt anyone, the majority of days should begin with something a little healthier. Since toddlers have their own ideas about what breakfast should involve, this is sometimes easier said than done. So, it is important to find ways to make the most of what he is willing to eat, and to make meals more interesting for him. Also, since many toddlers are way too busy to slow down for a meal, try to make the meal as enticing as possible so that what is served might actually be eaten.

Start by thinking of the things that your child likes to eat, and turn these into parts of balanced meals. For instance, if your child loves oatmeal, try adding a handful of raisins and a spoonful of peanut butter. This adds a serving of fruit and protein to an old favorite. Also, a child who loves peanut butter might be more willing to eat oatmeal if his favorite has been stirred in. If you make the oatmeal with milk instead of water, you have managed to hit four food groups in the same bowl.

Pancakes are often a well-liked toddler food, and can easily be made more nutritious as well. Mixing eggs and milk into the batter will add more nutritional value than making them with the water that some mixes often call for. Think of other things to add to the batter as well, such as bananas, blueberries, nuts, granola, or apples. To make them easier to eat on the go, mix the syrup or honey into the batter so your child can eat the pancakes in the car or while playing. Some children are more likely to eat if they don't have to slow down to do it. Keeping a toddler in a dining chair can be a challenge, and you may or may not want to fight this battle at every meal. Another way to keep pancakes interesting is to use cookie cutters to cut them into shapes, add food coloring, or cut them into strips which can be dipped into a small bowl of syrup like finger food. Or, drop the batter into three small circles to make them look like everyone's favorite Disney character.

French toast is another breakfast hit with many toddlers. Again, using whole grain bread, eggs, and milk makes this a healthy breakfast option. Adding cinnamon and vanilla to the batter will alter the taste a bit, as will sprinkling the uncooked bread with granola before flipping it over in the pan. Again, adding sugar, honey, or syrup to the batter will sweeten the french toast without the mess of adding syrup once it is on the plate, making it a simple on-the-go treat. Leftovers can easily be frozen and later warmed up in the toaster.

Regular toast can also be made more interesting for toddlers, while sneaking in a little extra nutrition, too. Using wheat bread instead of white improves the nutritional value from the start. Top the toast with peanut butter and banana or raisins, and the number of food groups represented increases as well. Cream cheese, jelly, honey, cinnamon and sugar, or cheddar cheese make great toppings for toast as well. Also, when making toast with cinnamon and sugar, try offering colored sugar to make the breakfast a little more enticing. Also, try putting these toppings on raisin bread or frozen waffles for a little bit of variety.

If your child likes scrambled eggs, think of things that could be added in order to represent more of the food groups. Cheese, diced ham, bologna, green peppers, broccoli florets, tomatoes, cubed potatoes, frozen hashbrowns, spinach, or mushrooms make a nutritious breakfast choice even more nutritious. Think of anything your child likes and is actually willing to eat, and see if it is something that you could add to the recipe. Putting the eggs between two pieces of toast to make an egg sandwich might also be a treat for your toddler.

If your child is determined to eat cereal every morning, try offering him a variety of healthy choices. Encourage him to try something other than sugary sweet cereals by having several choices available, or offering him a bite of yours. Once he makes his breakfast choice, add fruit to the cereal. Strawberries, bananas, raisins, and blueberries are great additions to many cereal choices.

Also, think outside of the box. Breakfast doesn't have to be breakfast. If your child is willing to eat cold pizza, a hotdog, or a cup of yogurt, isn't that better than not eating breakfast at all? If he won't slow down to eat, try adding a powdered breakfast substitute to his milk. Many of these choices offer all of the vitamins and nutrition of an actual meal, and come in a variety of flavors. Be careful not to choose a diet meal substitute powder, as these were not intended for children. Or, try making a smoothie with milk, yogurt, and fresh or frozen fruit.

It may take some thinking, some planning, and a little creativity, but you will find a healthy breakfast for your child. Don't be surprised if he wants the same thing day after day once he finds a favorite. Just do your best to offer nutritious choices, and discuss any lasting nutritional concerns with your pediatrician.

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