You have probably heard all your life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and I heartily agree. This is true for everyone and especially for children. Unfortunately, there are some people who simply do not like breakfast foods, which I personally do not understand, but nevertheless, it is true. If you or someone in your family happens to be one of that group, you may have to be innovative and creative to find alternatives for those picky eaters.
You can start with the following and create your own from there . . .
Banana or Pumpkin Bread – Bake several loaves, slice and freeze in small plastic freezer bags. It is unusual for anyone to turn down a slice or two of homemade banana or pumpkin bread. For an extra nutritional bump, add nuts (walnuts or pecans are perfect). Serve a couple of warm slices with a little butter and a glass of cold milk or freshly-squeezed orange juice and you have a nutritious, delicious breakfast.
Green Smoothies – Initially your picky eaters may hesitate because of the color, but they can be tasty and provide a healthy, nutritious breakfast. They can be made with frozen pineapple and banana slices, apples, oranges, dates, pitted cherries, strawberries, almonds plus plenty of baby spinach or kale for the green ingredients. Try various combinations until you find the ones you like best. You can also add ice to make them slushier – or plain Greek yogurt or almond milk to make them creamier. If you need sweetener, add a little local honey or Stevia, but go easy. A dash of salt also enhances the flavor.
Almond Butter Sandwiches – Most picky eaters will eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when all else fails. I would recommend switching it up with almond butter, which is a little healthier choice – cashew butter can also be a nice change. Whichever you choose be sure you purchase brands that are pure nut butters – nuts and salt ONLY, nothing more. Make the sandwiches with hearty whole-grain bread and go very light on the jelly (and always use fruit-only jelly) or use local honey instead.
Omelets – Rather than plain old scrambled eggs, make them interesting by creating omelets. Add sautéed vegetables (onions, green pepper and mushrooms) along with plenty of your child’s favorite cheese.
Bagels – This is one that I learned to love when I lived in New York City. Now they are available everywhere, but some are better than others. The best ones I have found are Bruegger’s Bagels and Safeway Grocery Stores (which are actually pretty good). If you have not tried them, you are in for a treat. They can be served plain or toasted; spread with butter and a little fruit-only jam, cream cheese, or nut butter. They also make tasty sandwiches. Try them soon.
Fruit and Cheese – This is a great option for family member who shy away from breakfast. Most people like at least one type of cheese, which is a good source of protein. Serve favorite cheese slices, whole grain crackers, and sliced fresh fruit – apples, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, or grapes. A dish of cottage cheese with sliced fruit is also good. This may not be a traditional breakfast, but it works well.
Fruit and Yogurt – I am NOT talking about prepared, sweetened yogurt with fruit at the bottom! Use only plain Greek yogurt, with sliced strawberries, blueberries or cantaloupe – drizzled with a little local honey. YUM! You can also top with a tablespoon or two of fresh homemade granola (the boxed version has too many additives and too much refined sugar).
Deviled Eggs – These can be made the night before and served with a slice of whole wheat toast – quick and easy.
Overnight Oatmeal – This is a great choice because it is a healthy base to which you can add ingredients that fit your picky eater’s palate. Also, it is very convenient because you make it the night before, put it in the fridge, and serve with the additional preferred ingredients.
Muffin Fritatas – I just found this recipe and it is great – high-protein, low-carb and tasty. This site has other excellent egg recipes you may want to try for healthy, delicious breakfast alternatives. There is another site for Egg Muffin Recipes that you should check out as well.
As a parent you want your family to be healthy and happy. If some of them fall into the picky eater category, you may be concerned that they are not getting the nutrients they need – and rightfully so; but insisting they eat foods they do not like is probably not a very successful or pleasant experience.
Offer healthy foods that they prefer, even though they may not be traditional breakfast foods, which could include nuts, avocado slices, apples, cheese, fruits of all kinds, whole-grain or protein pancakes, hard boiled eggs or hearty healthy muffins.
Eat and enjoy healthy foods!