Changing the family diet – breakfast

Homemade breakfast ideas for kids

Last week I shared the first in a series of posts on how I have also been changing the family’s diet. You can see the changes I have made to the family evening meals in this post.

My aim with changing what the family eats is to focus on a whole food approach. They kids and their dad still eat dairy, gluten, pasta, bread and grains. But with some small changes to reduce the level of processed foods they consume, we have made significant in roads to a healthier diet. Evening meals were an easy change to make, but breakfast required some planning on my behalf.

We were big cereal eaters in our house. Up until the start of the year one of the nightly jobs myself or my husband would do would be to set the table for breakfast. This would involve setting out a bowl for each child and placing 3 -4 boxes of cereal on the table. Most commonly it would be Just Right, Weet Bix Crunch, Rice Bubbles and Instant Oats.

As I was reading and learning more about basic nutrition, I realised we needed to make big changes to what the kid were eating, particularly bumping up the protein content of their breakfast.

I started with my husband first late last year. He had been having a bowl of Just Right for breakfast every day for about the last five years! Training for an Ironman however meant I had the best motivator to get him to kick the habit. He simply needed more fuel to train at the level he was doing. So he changed to a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sweet potato, with or without toast.

Early in January with the kids on school holidays i decided this would be the perfect time to work on changing what the kids ate for breakfast. With no need to be out of the house at a set time, I could spend time with each of the older three kids as they woke and teach them how to make a more substantial breakfast. I did teach the younger two kids ways they could make their own breakfast as well, but on a much smaller scale.

I wasn’t sure if we would be able to keep it up once the kids went back to school, but we have successfully kept commercial cereal off the table for the first two school terms of this year.

I am so happy with this. But I need to point out that it does take extra work on my behalf. The older three make their own breakfasts and depending on what the younger two choose to have, they can make their own, but most often I make it for them at the moment.

There is also more work making sure I have everything available so the older kids can make their own breakfast. There is sometimes more work due to the tidy up required after the breakfasts have been made.

I am okay with this. I am not sure I could have undertaken this when I had babies or toddlers about, not sure I would have found the time. But teaching the kids about the basics of good nutrition is important to me, so it is something I am happy to spend the time on now.

So what do they eat???

Homemade porridge

steel cut oats porridge slow cooker recipe DSC08882
This is a favourite of the youngest. He would have porridge most mornings. You can see my slow cooker steel cut oats porridge recipe here.

Other days I will use quick oats and milk/Coco Quench in the microwave.

Homemade muesli

kids homemade breakfasts DSC08944
Three of the five kids would have this about once a week. You can find my kid friendly muesli recipe on Essential Kids.

Smoothies

kids homemade breakfasts DSC08910
Even though we have moved into the colder months, smoothies are still very popular with the kids. Back in January I purchased a George Foreman Mix an Go (from memory it was about $40.) It has been such a fantastic investment.

kids homemade breakfasts DSC08923
I created a base set of instructions for the kids to follow at the start. The older three don’t need them any more and can whip themselves up a smoothie in no time.

kids homemade breakfasts DSC08945
The basic ingredients are:

  • milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1 or 2 raw eggs
  • frozen fruit (I have banana, raspberries and mango in the freezer. I also have kale, but the kids never go for it!)

kids homemade breakfasts DSC08866
The kids can also add chia seeds, almonds, cashews, cacao powder and any other fruits we have on hand. With the exception of the 15 year old, the kids all find the smoothie filling and keeps them going until recess at school.

Fry up

kids homemade breakfasts IMG_5950
The older three are all capable of cooking themselves a hot breakfast. Exactly what they have varies with each child but includes breakfasts like:

  • mushrooms, eggs and tomato
  • bacon and eggs
  • egg in a basket (egg cooked into the bread)

kids homemade breakfasts IMG_4328

Eggs

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All the kids love eggs for breakfast and fried is not the only way they cook them. The older three can also make themselves an omelette and they can also use the egg cooker you see in the photo above.

I love this egg cooker! It costs me $20 from ALDI last year and it has been one of the best value purchases I have made. (It is one of the first things I pack when I travel for work!). The cooker lets you cook up to 7 eggs soft or hard boiled. You have little trays that you can use to make scrambled type egg and it can also steam some veggies.

The kids will use this if they want a boiled egg or scrambled eggs if they don’t feel like making them in the pan.

Other breakfasts

Eggs, fry ups and smoothies are what breakfasts consist of most days at home now. But there are other breakfasts they will have as the mood takes them which revolve around toast:

  • Avocado on toast
  • Peanut butter on toast
  • Left over bolognese sauce on toast
  • Melted cheese on toast

What do your kids have for breakfast?

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Comments

  1. Mia says

    I can’t wait until my two are old enough to cook themselves breakfast (they’re 11 months and 3.5 yrs)! My toddler likes to get her porridge ready by putting the oats and water in a bowl ready for the microwave. And she pours on the milk afterwards, so I guess she’s nearly there.

    We cycle between soft boiled or scrambled eggs with toast, baked beans and toast, banana pancakes and maple syrup on weekends, porridge with apple puree and a dollop of Greek yoghurt, or kids Weetbix or Be Natural flakes with rice milk. Sometimes we put desiccated coconut on the porridge or cereal for a tasty twist. Mostly, its eggs or porridge.

  2. Emma says

    Eggs,yoghurt and smoothies here too! My daughter has only just turned two so obviously I get her breakfast for her :) I’ve been paleo for over a year so try to limit non-paleo foods as much as possible. But when my husband’s on days off he has crumpets for breakfast, and she does love sharing a crumpet or two with her daddy :)

  3. Jackie says

    Raw oats and maple syrup. I like it with yoghurt in too, but they have their plain yoghurt on the side. They invented it. It’s a bit high in sugar but at least I control the amounts and there’s no other funny stuff. Alternatively, yoghurt with honey and then peanut butter on wholemeal toast. Cold oats soaked overnight with milk is nice too.

  4. Cristina says

    Love this Nicole! I live in a country where imported cereal is very expensive or the local cereal is sugar full and there are only limited boxes of Weet-bix that my husband can fit into his suitcase when he travels!

  5. Theresa says

    Well done making big changes at a busy time of day! No cereal here – never has been really – we rotate between porridge made on stove with whole oats, rice milk, with LSA, Chia, often prunes or apricots added and/or banana on top; bacon and eggs and baked beans or smoothies – all made by me or my husband though sometimes i think how easy cereal will be , but I can’t bring myself to give it = its not sustaining as you say, and so, cooked brekkie it is!

  6. says

    Love this post and it’s very inline with what I’ve been doing at home with my family too. I made homemade toasted muesli that the big kids absolutely love (now! It’s taken awhile for Mr 3.5 to get onboard!) and the baby has proper porridge every day – no iron fortified powdery processed gunk! I don’t yet manage eggs in the morning but we have them for dinner a couple of times a week. I need to keep the kids cooking their own brekkie once they get older. It definitely is more time consuming but it’s worth it. Homemade cashew nut and almond butter is another one I made sure is in the house. Protein packed school lunches are the next challenge I’m working on as well as perfecting an easy loaf of homemade bread. Lots of experimenting. I’m loving all of your posts on this topic. Lots of helpful tips. As always :-) xo

    • says

      Thanks Amy. I love nut butters too! It is certainly worth the effort getting the kids to get their breakfasts. The older ones will even make for the younger kids on Sundays so I can even sleep in a little :) .

Trackbacks

  1. […] Since Katie’s review, it is going really well. I’ve started taking the recommended fish oil supplements, and some magnesium to help with the PMS symptoms – bit easier to stomach than the apple cider vinegar. Ive stopped drinking protein drinks and now having eggs for breakfast, or bran or smoothies (invested in the George Foreman maker as per your [Nicole's] recommendation). […]

  2. […] As I have written previously, this year I have transformed what the kids eat for breakfast. No longer does it come from a cardboard box, but is created at home in the kitchen. I chose the January school holidays to make the change, as I had the time to teach the kids how to cook some basic meals they could make for breakfast, which you can see here. […]