Day 3 of my 30 Days of Blogging Challenge!
Sorry for the website issues earlier. I had a temporary restriction put on my website because of some heavy traffic and optimization/caching issues. My host server told me it would be an ‘easy’ problem to fix and when I opened up the link with the instructions to fix it all the code looked like a foreign language to me. Luckily I have an awesome brother who codes for a living. I always wonder if he secretly gets really gets annoyed when I ask him all my computer questions, but he was nice enough to drop what he was doing, get on and fix all the issues for me without any complaints. There are some perks of having nine siblings – someone always knows how to fix a problem you are having. This is my brother and his girlfriend – aren’t they cute?!
Anyways, back to the topic of the post….a few weeks ago I put this status on my Facebook page:
The post triggered a debate and I really appreciated everyone who stepped in to comment and participate in the discussion. Whether you agreed with my post or not, I thought it was a great conversation. The next day I put up a post asking people for suggestions and recommendations of healthy breakfasts their kids enjoy, and the feedback was wonderful! So many of you shared some awesome ideas that I took away and started using with my 3-year old also! I wanted to share some of my favorite ideas you had and from those ideas came up with a list of 7 Ways to Help Your Kids Eat a Healthier Breakfast:
1. Ditch the Donuts. Keeping junk food out of your house will not only save on your grocery bill, but will force your kids to make healthier options in the morning. I loved what Abeer Salam said, “I may not be a mom, but my parents made it very simple: No junk food at home, you either have the eggs and whole wheat toast, lots of fruit, whole wheat pancakes, or nothing at all. You don’t need to baby kids into eating what you eat, make it simple – non-negotiable. My parents both worked, while we were getting ready in the morning my mom would cook breakfast – simple and healthy. Plus, since we didn’t have junk food at home we weren’t aware it existed or was even an option. Their method worked, and I plan on doing the same with my own kids.”
2. Be a Sneaky Mom (or Dad). You can easily blend spinach into your kids’ smoothies and they won’t be able to taste it – I promise! If the green color freaks them out just add some blueberries and it will turn the entire shake purple. Samantha Ciaccio said, “You can hide spinach and kale and carrots and almost anything in them! My son loves them and asks for them more than once a week!!” Here is a video I filmed with Bodybuilding.com showing you how I freeze my extra spinach so that it doesn’t go bad before I get a chance to use it:
3. Make Foods Fun to Look At: Amy Jamison shared this great idea!. “Make foods colorful with fruit and veggies but make the presentation fun! You don’t have to be a master chef to arrange fruits and veggies and eggs into funny faces or designs on the plate. “Pancakes” made from just banana and egg. It’s 2 eggs per every one banana. They are super yummy and much healthier. Plus you can always make them into fun shapes and such.” Sometimes I even make up silly songs, or tell my son he has to search really hard to find the silly “faces” in the food/fruit he is served.
4: Cook in Bulk on the Weekends. Callista ‘Tomallo’ Puchmeyer shared this great idea that works great for her family! “Breakfasts were the hardest thing for us to finally make clean for the girls. Every weekend I make a batch of home-made waffles, muffins, and or some kind of banana breadish type thing for my girls. Just freeze and toast as needed throughout the week. Smoothies and egg muffins work well too. In a quick pinch, they love Ezekiel bread with some kind of all-natural nut butter on there. I have even been known to make my own chocolate nut butter (grind whatever nuts, cocoa powder, stevia, and a little coconut oil to taste). Much healthier than store-bought and they think they are getting a treat.”
5. Start Your Slow Cooker Before Bed: Donna Fleener shared some great breakfast ideas that her family enjoys but I loved her slow cooker oatmeal idea the most! “Use whole grain oats or steel cut oats with cinnamon, fruit (we use apples, raisins, or blueberries), and a little honey or maple syrup for sweetness. Put it in the slow cooker on low and it’s ready when you wake up! No morning rush!”
6. Pizza for Breakfast: Tammy Evans Paris posted this really fun idea! “We make frittatas with leftover veggies from dinner and cut them like a pizza. Kiddos call it breakfast pizza!” I’ve done this before too! I’ve also poured the ingredients into a muffin pan, put a little low-fat cheese on top, and made mini frittatas.
7. Serve them the Same Food You Eat: These are my own tips I shared as well. My 3 year old son eats the same things I do for breakfast. I do believe that when they see you eating healthy foods they are going to be more open to trying them. I wake up 15 minutes earlier to make sure I can cook breakfast and fit it into our busy morning routine, but breakfast is important to me. These are the types of things we usually have:
-Runny eggs (my son loves the “yellow stuff”), strawberries, turkey bacon (if possible, look for nitrate free I like Applegate Farms brand), toast. This is what we end up having most days.
-Blueberry protein pancakes or waffles (I use cookie cutters to cut fun shapes if he gives me a hard time eating them) – click HERE for my recipe (I use MRM All Natural Whey when I bake things the kids will eat because it does not use any artificial sweeteners).
-Homemade protein bars (this is what we do on days we are crunched for time) – click HERE for my recipe
-Greek yogurt with fruit
-Fruit smoothies (blend in spinach – they won’t even know! Add plain Greek yogurt for more protein)
I hope you enjoyed this list and I appreciate everyone who contributed responses! If you scroll through my old Facebook posts to July 19th when this was posted you can find this post that has over 100 comments with so many wonderful breakfast ideas. I’d love to hear you guys share other breakfast ideas too in the comments section below!
I know that it takes a little more effort to make a healthy breakfast, but I do think it is important and plays a large role in our children’s behavior. Here is the link that I referenced in my original post: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/pubs/learning.pdf
Thanks for visiting my site! I will ‘see’ you guys tomorrow!
I went to college with your bro, Natalie! I think you might have graduated before I hit C of I, but I know your bro well! So glad he helped you out – love all your posts!
thanks for all the great posts and I am looking forward to the rest as well.
I am currently abroad right now and 29 weeks along in my pregnancy. I have looked around in the store for some foods that you have suggested (greek yoghurt) however, most of the sugar and/or fat free items are not “free” here at all, not even low fat. 🙁 I am trying to get started to the clean eating habit and for breakfast and dinner I am doing fine. The rest still needs a lot of work.
I was wondering if you also used your protein powder during pregnancy in your diet? I am not sure if I should start using some…. I am not allowed to exercise at all to the risk of preterm labor, so I was wondering if I would even need the extra protein since I try to include lean protein in my diet. What are your thoughts?