True or False: Kids who eat breakfast tend to be healthier than those who don't. Turns out, it's true. A growing number of studies show that kids who take in “the most important meal of the day” are more likely to be physically fit, focused in school, have better critical thinking skills, and even be more creative. It's not just kids either; adults also benefit when it comes to eating breakfast. Those who eat it tend to be less likely to suffer from heart disease and more likely to experience lower rates of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. What's more, they're also more likely to maintain a healthy weight.
Eating a well-balanced breakfast is all well and good, sure, but what about when push comes to shove and it's a typical morning with a thousand things to do and no time to do them? Furthermore, how does one factor in health when navigating the picky palates of spouses and children? If the hopelessness of the situation makes you want to reach for the sugary breakfast cereal or maybe even skip the breakfast thing completely, Stop. Right. There.
Not only is it possible to make healthy, crowd pleasing breakfasts in a flash during even the most time crunched of mornings, there are also loads of ways to do so. To prove it, here are fifteen deliciously easy-to-prepare breakfast recipes that will set the whole family up for success for the day ahead—and for their future health. Yum!
The Savory Spread
Gone are the days when grits were a part of a boring breakfast staple only for folks in the south. These days, grits are trendy—whether they're paired with shrimp, cheese, or with eggs and pesto like they are in this recipe as part of a speedy filling breakfast.
Let's be honest, this breakfast classic is just as fun for adults as it is for kids. For a little extra flavor, add some shredded cheddar before cracking the egg.
Easy Sweet Potato Egg Hash
Hashes are usually relegated to the same corner of the kitchen menu as french toast, waffles, and other finicky weekend meals. But this fifteen minute, four ingredient recipe goes to show that it is possible to whip up the tastes of brunch classics even during busy weekday mornings.
Breakfast burritos? Those are so last season. Taking its place in the niche breakfast arena is breakfast pancake taco or the, er, paco. This recipe calls for making the pancakes the morning of, but it's also super possible to prepare and freeze all the ingredients ahead of time, making for a super simple heat-and-eat meal on especially busy mornings.
Overnight Egg Casserole:
The best part about this cheesy morning casserole is that there are two best parts. One, it's easy to prepare the night before and then to simply pop in the oven first thing in the morning. Two, the finished product is sturdy enough to be cut into squares, making it portable and able to be eaten without utensils...unless of course, you add too much ketchup like I do.
The Sweeter Stuff
English Muffins w Greek Yogurt, Peanut Butter and Apple
The nooks and crannies of an English muffin provide the perfect surface for Greek yogurt, which has more protein and less sugar than its cream cheese cousin. To make this breakfast, smear 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt on top of each toasted muffin half. Place a thin slice of apple on top of the yogurt. Finish of with a drizzle of peanut butter (softened by 15 seconds in the microwave) and another of honey.
Oatmeal: that ever-versatile, sometimes hard to convince the kids to eat, humble grain. Wait, did I say hard to convince the kids to eat? That's only because a lot of oatmeal recipes are too mature for young palates. Walnut-chia-amarinth oatmeal? No thanks. This choco-coconut oatmeal recipe, on the other hand, is sweet enough for little ones yet still grown-up enough for you.
Pear, Almond Butter, and Honey Toast
This ridiculously simple recipe somehow oozes sophistication while being super quick and kid friendly. First, slather multigrain toast slices with a layer of natural almond butter. Add sliced ripe pears (d'anjou are good for this) and top it all off with a drizzle of honey and a dash of cinnamon.
Sneaky Berry Smoothie
I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure that even cavemen had trouble getting their kids to eat enough veggies. What cavemen didn't have, but we do, are smoothies, a magical way to mask a healthy dose of greens under an equally healthy dose of fruits and yogurt. Yum.
Breakfast Pita Pizza
Whole grain pita pizzas provide fiber and protein to give your family sustained energy throughout the morning. They also have the added bonus of being a plate unto themselves—meaning fewer dishes, woohoo! When time isn't tight, this is also a great recipe to get the kids involved in making.
Raisin Bran Muffins
We hold these truths to be self evident: muffins are amazing, especially when half of the work of making the batter is done by adding breakfast cereal. This simple Raisin Bran Muffin recipe yields a mix which can be stored in the fridge, making fresh muffins on demand only a few minutes away on any morning.
Peanut Butter Banana Cereal Pops
Bananas are packed with potassium, vitamins, and complex starches that are beneficial to the human gut. They're also a great vessel for peanut-butter and cereal, making them a perfect part of a highly portable breakfast that is also super simple to construct.
Back-to-School Cereal Bars
The last time I tried to eat cereal in the car I ended up with milk down my front—and I'm an adult. Luckily, this cereal is in bar form, stuck together with no bake goodness, making it a mess-free meal for the drive to school and perhaps even sweet enough to masquerade as a lunch time dessert treat.
Breakfast Egg Cups
I've already gushed about how great muffins are, but what about Breakfast Egg Cups? These handheld morsels of protein and flavor packed goodness are perfect for the drive to school and take just a few minutes to prepare.
Pumpkins are low in fat, high in fiber, and taste, uh, dee-lish-ous. Ditto with zucchini. Together, these two veggies form the basis of a nutritious Pumpkin-Zucchini Bread that is easy to make the night before and taken to the next level with just the right amount of chocolate chips.