Sick of cereal? Kids need breakfast but seem to find a way to argue over it just about every day. Parents and caregivers don’t feel like cooking something every morning (at least I don’t), or just don’t have the time. Thus begins the “Battle Over Breakfast.” It goes something like this at my house:
Me: Kids, time to eat something before school.
My Kids: There’s nothing good to eat!
Me: Have some cereal or fruit or yogurt or toast with jam.
My Kids: No, all that is gross!
Me: Well, you have to eat something of substance, so choose.
My Kids: Is jello or pudding “of substance?“
Me: No, eat something real, not a snack.
My Kids: But Mooooom!
We don’t keep instant food in stock, generally speaking. That it, we don’t buy much “junk food” or snacks. Yes, we do have granola bars and chips, just not a lot of that stuff. We tend to have real food that needs preparing, so what does that mean for breakfast? My youngest is picky and won’t eat cereal, so here are some breakfast hacks that might just convince your little picky eater that breakfast can be pretty darn tasty!
1. Ham & Egg Cupcake
Use cupcake liners (or just grease the cupcake pan) and fill with one scrambled egg; add whatever you like, some ham, cheese, tomato, whatever. Bake in the oven or toaster oven. Quick and portable.
Cut a hole in the center of a slice of bread. Butter one side and place, butter-side up, in a hot, buttered pan. Crack an egg into the hole, cook for a couple minutes, flip and enjoy!
3. Breakfast Pizza
Top a bagel or English muffin (or go all the way and use real dough) with your hot or cold favorites, like traditional sauce, pepperoni and cheese or strawberries and cream cheese. If you use dough (or make a quick one with Bisquick), you can even spread a thin layer of scrambled egg, top with cheese and breakfast meat like ham or bacon and cook in the oven, ten minutes or less. Try whatever your kid likes or whatever you have in the house.
4. Toasted PBJ or Grilled Cheese
For the kid who will eat peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese, these are fast and easy, but appeal to even the pickiest.
5. Overnight Oats to Beat the Band
Grab an old jelly jar or small mason jar and layer your favorites for a sweet treat with little to no morning prep time. Use ⅓ to ½ cup each of rolled oats, milk, yogurt and your favorite stir-in, like raisins, fruit, nuts, etc.
6. Let Them Play with Their Food
My kids love to dip stuff, so I will cut up an apple and a banana and make a flower shape with them around a big dollop of peanut butter or cottage cheese.
7. Instant Rice with Added Fruit
You’ve heard of rice cereal, right? Well, my husband always reminds me not to add butter to the rice, so we can use it in the morning. Add a little milk, cinnamon and sugar and some fresh fruit. Microwave for a minute or two and wow!
8. Shake It Up!
Save time and dishes by making a shake. Blend up milk, yogurt, fruit, juice or whatever you have on hand. Add a touch of cinnamon or mint, depending on your kids’ tastes and they will be begging for breakfast shakes tomorrow.
9. Breakfast Popsicles
Kids love frozen treats, so give them what they want! Use traditional juice with chunks of fruit or mix yogurt, milk and honey with their favorite treat and make your own frozen feast!
10. Leftovers, of Course!
My picky eater will often settle for last night’s leftovers. Good enough, I say. If it was good enough for dinner, why not breakfast? It’s a great use of that single serving that I can’t bear to throw away, plus it solves my problem of wanting them to have something in their stomachs before leaving the house.
Good luck with your picky eater! Don’t give up, but don’t give in, either. They won’t starve, but we parents and caregivers must continue to offer healthy options and not cave to the pressure to let them skip breakfast or eat junky, processed food which does not help them put their best foot forward.