(Written by Lara Davitt) Kids can be notoriously fussy eaters and frustrated parents are climbing the walls looking for nutritious recipes that kids will love and enjoy at meal times. If your kids are still very young, one of the best things you can do is to introduce them to the biggest variety of food, fruits and veggies as possible, before they get to the stage where they only eat fish fingers and tomato sauce at every meal.
If you are looking for healthy breakfast ideas to start your children’s day, and especially ones where you can include those important fruit and vegetables to mark off at least one of the recommended 5-a-day, then you are not alone.
Fruit is a great way to ensure that your kids are getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals and energy they need to grow big and strong. Bananas, for instance, are packed with potassium and iron and are great for boosting low blood sugar and energy levels. But not all kids are mad about them. So how about disguising things like banana in baked items like muffins or banana bread? They can be baked and frozen at home and kids will love to help.
You can add just about any fruit and nuts and you can adjust the basic recipe for allergens, using dairy and other substitutes if necessary. Muffins are easy to eat on the go and kids who take a while to get going in the morning, can easily grab one on the way to school.
Flapjacks are another great breakfast idea, using natural, wholesome and nutritious ingredients; you can make sure that your child gets the best start to their busy day right from your kitchen at home, whether it’s homemade fish fingers or homemade muesli. Rolled oats and honey form the basis of homemade flapjacks, and you can add dried fruit bits in – even some edible glitter for a sparkly start to the day.
For kids who are not mad about breakfast, and there are a lot of them, it can be an uphill battle every morning, with mums and dads desperately trying to get children to eat just something. Smoothies are another brilliant way to get kids and grumpy teens the nutrition they need for a busy day ahead. The best part is you can use just about anything to put in it – fruit, yogurt, cocoa powder, nuts, oats, honey, oat bran, even Horlicks. Buy funky smoothie containers and you can whip up the ingredients in the morning taking 5 minutes to prepare and pack altogether. It’s nutritious, it’s fast and it does the trick for little ones too.
Without a good start to the day with a good meal, kids will really struggle to concentrate in class and be perpetually grumpy, restless and tired. It’s important to listen to what kids are saying about their breakfast preferences – obviously eggs and bacon every morning is not going to happen, but with a little bit of creativity and planning, your morning breakfast woes could be over before you know it.
About the author: Lara Davitt has written a variety of articles on food and has two children of her own. She’s worked for a number of websites in this area and is a keen sportsperson.