The first meal of the day is an important one. The kids are usually ready for a good meal and it’s a time to fuel them for the start of their day. But with all that needs to happen to get a family out of the house each day, kid breakfasts are often rushed. To help, these healthy toddler breakfast ideas are easy meals that you can assemble in minutes or make ahead of time. So you can get a healthy toddler meal onto the highchair with plenty of time to feed yourself too!
Breakfast Ideas for Kids and Toddlers (Even Picky Ones!)
My biggest recommendation for picky toddlers is to have a handful of regular breakfasts that they see often to keep a variety of foods in rotation. Toddlers love routine and familiarity, so if you serve something once or twice a week, they are more inclined (usually) to eat it. As an example, we have oatmeal two mornings a week in my house and everyone eats it. Just making that one choice eliminates some of the decision making and can help toddlers know what to expect at breakfast.
How to Serve Balanced Toddler Breakfasts, Step-by-Step
Toddlers need balanced meals so try to serve a food from most of these food groups during most meals.
- Carbohydrates: foods like whole grains, fruit, and veggies like sweet potatoes provide long lasting energy.
- Protein: Found in meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and legumes, mostly, protein helps little bodies to grow and also helps to keep toddlers feeling satisfied longer. This means that those requests for snacks may be less frequent!
- Healthy fats: Babies and toddlers need fats for proper brain development, especially up until age 2. (It is not recommended that kids under age two are on fat restricted diets.) You can find healthy fats for toddlers in avocado, flax and chia seeds, nuts, fish (particularly salmon and sardines), egg yolks, and whole milk dairy (particularly grass-fed since the grass has higher levels of omega fatty acids).
- Produce: Fruits and vegetables of all kinds and colors provides the vitamins and minerals toddlers need for immunity and proper development. And they just taste good!
And now, some specific healthy kid breakfast ideas.
Toddler Breakfast Idea #1: Snack Plate
Snack plates are a great option for snack time, dinner, AND breakfast. Include a low-sugar dry cereal or crackers, some protein in the form of cheese, cottage cheese, some nut butter, or an egg or salami, and fruit. So easy and variable! (Sprinkles optional.)
Toddler Breakfast Idea #2: Smoothies
Toddler smoothies are an excellent way to offer fruit, veggies, protein, and fat for breakfast. You can keep them simple with this formula: 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup frozen banana, 1/2 cup fruit (like berries or mango), and 1/4 cup veggies (baby spinach, raw cauliflower, roasted and mashed sweet potato), and 1 tablespoon nut butter or hemp seeds. Or, simply blend 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup strawberries and ta-da! Yogurt Smoothie!
Try: Healthy Toddler Smoothies with Hidden Veggies.
Toddler Breakfast Idea #3: Overnight Oats
With yogurt, fruit, and carbohydrates, overnight oats are a nutritious toddler breakfast that are so easy to make ahead. Plus, they are usually nice and thick, which makes them easier for toddlers to eat with a spoon. (We also regularly pack overnight oats in our toddler lunches.)
Try: Applesauce Overnight Oats
Toddler Breakfast Idea #4: Pancakes
Every Sunday morning when we have pancakes, I stash a few leftover ones in a zip top freezer bag and tuck them in the freezer. They reheat in 30-60 seconds (flip it over halfway through for even heating) and are great topped or sandwiched with nut butter, cream cheese, or Greek yogurt.
Try: Fluffy Applesauce Pancakes or Allergy-Friendly Banana Pancakes
Toddler Breakfast Idea #5: Eggs, Fruit, and a Whole Grain
Bake a dozen eggs to hard-cooked perfection and keep in the fridge for easy toddler breakfasts. Serve with toast sticks, cut up fruit, or even a leftover veggie. And remember that it’s okay if your toddler is still learning to like both the white and the yolk—they both have very unique textures! (They might also prefer scrambled to hard cooked eggs or Make-Ahead Egg Muffins and that’s okay too.)
Toddler Breakfast Idea #6: Oatmeal
Many kids seem to either love or hate oatmeal, but with so many different ways to serve it, it’s entirely possible that you can find oatmeal your toddlers like. Play with texture—they might prefer the smoother consistency of quick oats over rolled oats—and add-ins. Try grated apple or raisins one week and diced dried mango or strawberries the next. And let them add toppings! Nut butter, seeds, and even sprinkles are yummy options.
Try: 15 Oatmeal Recipes for Toddlers
Toddler Breakfast Idea #7: Sweet Potato Toast
You could try the trendy slice of sweet potato in the toaster idea, or simply spread mashed roasted sweet potato onto toast and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Drizzle on nut butter or pair with a smear of cream cheese to take it even further. Cut into cubes or sticks as needed for a breakfast idea for a 1 year old or 2 year old.
Toddler Breakfast Idea #8: Breakfast Cookies
Want to win some extra hugs in the morning? Serve up breakfast cookies! This is a fun idea and one that can make a day when a kiddo wakes up on the wrong side of the bed turn right around. Pair with some protein from a glass of milk, a little cheese, or a egg.
Try: Healthy Oatmeal Cookies with Carrots and Apples
Toddler Breakfast Idea #9: Muffins
Bake a batch of muffins whenever you have the time and store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. Warm slightly (or warm all the way through if reheating from frozen) to make them taste like they’re straight out of the oven.
Try: Banana Blueberry Muffins or Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
Toddler Breakfast Idea #10: Breakfast Quesadillas
Warm cheese, snipped spinach, and beans in a tortilla and bam, breakfast! You can add diced ham or scrambled eggs, or change up the veggies. But serving a savory breakfast is an excellent (and easy) way to start the day. Warm the quesadilla in a skillet just until the cheese melts or you could even cheat and do it in the microwave for a few seconds…I won’t tell!
What’s the best way to keep toddler breakfasts quick and easy?
Have some options at the ready! It’s entirely okay to have cereal or toast mornings, but if you want your kids to regularly eat other foods, then you need to make them available. Making a batch of muffins or a pot of oatmeal for everyone to enjoy (even if you do it in the slow cooker while you sleep!) can be a big help towards making that first meal happier for everyone. And prep some fruit and/or veggies ahead so they’re ready to go come morning.
How to Pack Toddler Breakfasts for Daycare
I know that some families take their kids to daycare in the morning and need to send a breakfast. If you need to pack a toddler breakfast for daycare, I recommend investing in this thermos (or a similar one) or a kid-friendly lunchbox. Then, you can pack almost anything that your toddler eats at home, with consideration to what they can more easily eat on their own. So it might be better to send them a cut up pancake instead of a cup of yogurt if they are still working on their spoon skills.