Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Toddlersby Shelley Frost
A healthy breakfast kicks off the day, giving your toddler the energy she needs to race from building blocks to tea parties all day long. Whether your toddler climbs right up to the breakfast table or tries to avoid breakfast, an appealing, toddler-friendly meal is key. Offer a variety of foods each day to keep breakfast interesting for your child.
Tortillas often show up at lunch or dinner, but they also work as a roll-up at breakfast. A layer of cream cheese, either plain or flavored, creates the "glue" to hold the breakfast together. Peanut butter is another option as long as your child isn't at risk for a peanut allergy. Pieces of soft fruit sprinkled on the cream cheese or peanut butter adds nutrition and flavor. Roll the tortilla from one edge to the other. Serve it whole or cut it into bite-sized slices. This breakfast allows you to mix and match flavors for variety.
Eggs pack lots of protein to give your toddler energy. There are several options for serving eggs for greater variety. Scrambled eggs are easy to cook and ideal for small fingers to pick up and eat. Hard-boiled eggs cut into slices are also toddler-friendly. For a different take on eggs, cut a shape from a piece of bread with a cookie cutter. Spread butter or margarine on both sides of the bread and place it in a heated skillet. Crack the egg and drop it in the enter of the bread. Flip the egg and bread together until the egg is cooked.
A whole grain breakfast is a healthy start to the day. Oatmeal is soft enough to make it easy for toddlers to eat. Change the ingredients you mix in with the oatmeal to match your toddler's taste preferences. Ideas for mix-ins include nut butters, fruit, pumpkin puree and jam. A small amount of maple syrup, agave nectar or honey adds sweetness to the mix.
Finger Food Plate
Finger foods work well for toddlers because they don't have to mess with utensils. Young children usually enjoy picking up finger foods and popping them into their mouths. A plate of three or four finger foods gives your toddler more control over what she eats. Try a mix of traditional breakfast foods and items typically considered lunch items. Ideas include pieces of ham or other meats, fruit chunks, cheese, French toast strips, bagels and soft vegetables. A cup of yogurt works well as a dip for the breakfast finger food plate.
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