Breakfast is an important meal of the day and, for parents of toddlers, getting them off to a healthy start to the day can prove to be challenging at times. As we all know, many toddlers can be picky eaters, but unlike older children, many little ones typically do not frown down upon the idea of breakfast, but they may turn up their noses at standard breakfast fare.
Due to this “picky” factor, moms and dads are often faced with the dilemma of what to feed their toddlers. If you have trouble getting your little one to eat breakfast, one approach to take is to try and make it fun.
For parents on the go, many kid-friendly breakfasts can be prepared the night before, or even over the weekend and frozen to use during the week. Here are a few ideas:
There are a few ways you could approach this, you could use cookie cutters or you could create your own designs on top of a traditional pancake. Perhaps the best part is you won’t even need to use sugary and sticky syrups to entice your toddler to eat.
With cookie cutters, after you’ve mixed your batter, spray your pan with non-stick spray, place the cutter on the griddle and pour the batter inside. It should set quickly, and once it does, remove the cutter and flip your pancake when it is bubbled. Your little one can enjoy his or her own custom shaped pancake and, if you use smaller cutters, these can be the perfect finger food.
Another fun way to entice your toddler to eat pancakes is to make traditional pancakes and allow him or her to create a face or other design on top. Other healthy foods can be added as well. Think cut up fruits, breakfast meats, Cheerios or yogurt. The possibilities are endless!
An egg in a nest breakfast takes a “traditional” egg breakfast and makes it fun. Your toddler is still getting the same proteins and grains, but with this preparation, the difference is in the presentation. Your little one may be enticed by the idea of having his or her own little “nest”.
Take a piece of whole grain bread to use as the “nest”, butter the bread and then place into a heated pan. Next, use a circle cookie cutter or the inside of a glass to “cut” out the center of the bread, remove the center. Crack an egg into the center, breaking the yolk and then flip the entire piece over until cooked through. If your toddler likes toast, grill the circle cutout and heat it up to accompany the “nest”.
Most toddlers are drawn to finger foods, and at least one or two types of fruit will typically appeal to even the pickiest of tiny eaters. Cut up your little one’s favorite fruits and then spoon some yogurt into a plastic dipping dish or toddler bowl. Your toddler can dip to his or her heart’s content.
Ants on a log is another good fruit and yogurt combination. Use a half of banana cut length-wise, spread your little one’s favorite spread (peanut butter, applesauce, yogurt or other) on the banana, and then sprinkle raisins (or other dried diced fruit) on top.
Other ideas are French toast sticks, fruit smoothies, healthy mini-muffins, or even cheese cubes and crackers, if your child finds this appealing.
It is not always easy to get a picky toddler to eat breakfast, but adding fun into the mix can make breakfast time go much more smoothly.
And, if all else fails, you can always make a healthy version of pizza, make grilled chicken strips (with their favorite condiment dip of course!), grilled cheese or other toddler-friendly foods that might not exactly be “traditional” breakfast, but still breakfast.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.