Ask A Cleveland Expert: Easy Breakfast Meals For Kids

By Mark Horning

We all know that breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day but unfortunately it is also the most abused. Busy families tend to sacrifice nutrition due to the hectic routine we face every school/work morning. The result, we pump ourselves and our children full of sugar only to them crash about an hour later. Add to this the fact that most families do not get enough sleep and you have a recipe for poor school and work performance. The answer is to plan ahead in order to provide a low sugar, healthy fats and high protein breakfast. Here are some ideas.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Flavored instant oatmeal seems like a good healthy idea until you check out the sugar content. Using easy to acquire ingredients you can turn this rather bland breakfast into something great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Apple
  • Honey
  • Unsweetened almond milk

Directions:

  1. The night before, combine 8 cups of water, 2 cups of steel cut oats and ½ tsp. of salt in your slow cooker
  2. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours

For toppings have zero sugar vanilla yogurt, chopped walnuts, raisins, grated apple, honey, unsweetened almond milk and various fruits (such as strawberries and blueberries) or come up with your own topping ideas. This is a great way to get a warm start on a cold winter morning.

Related: How To Create A Back To School Time Capsule

Eggs And Taters

If you don’t mind getting up a 1/2 hour earlier (which means you will have to miss the last half of the previous evening’s Late Show) this is a delicious hot meal that the entire family will love and a great source of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups tater tots
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 2 ounces grated cheddar

Directions:

  1. The night before bake 4 cups of tater tots at 400-degrees for 20 minutes, set aside (you may need to hide them from the late night snackers).
  2. In the morning heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet adding half an onion (finely chopped), half a red bell pepper (finely chopped) and 8 ounces of quartered white mushrooms.
  3. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic and three plum tomatoes cut into 1” pieces.
  5. Cook for a minute or two then add the tater tots.
  6. Using a spoon, make 8 small wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each.
  7. Sprinkle with 2 ounces of grated cheddar cheese and bake at 400-degrees for 15 to 18 minutes (longer if you want firmer eggs).

Eggs On Toast With Broiled Tomatoes

If you have ever had the pleasure of traveling to Ireland or Great Britain you are sure to be pleasantly surprised at the various offerings on the breakfast tables. Such things as baked beans, grilled tomatoes, blood pudding and sautéed mushrooms are very popular along with the traditional egg, sausage and yogurt fare. Here is a stateside version.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 eggs
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Slice and distribute four tomatoes on a broiler proof baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook 2 to 3 minutes in a pre-heated broiler.
  3. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  4. Brush one side of 4 slices of whole wheat bread with olive oil.
  5. Using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass cut a 2 ½” to 3” hole in each slice putting the cutout pieces aside.
  6. Put 2 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet and place 2 slices of bread along with the cutout pieces separately in the pan oil side up cooking 1 to 2 minutes until crisp then flipping all of them.
  7. Crack an egg into each bread slice hole and cook to desired consistency adding salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Repeat with remaining bread and eggs.
  9. Serve with broiled tomatoes.

Microwave Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled breakfast sausage
  • Flatbread
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of milk in a 2 cup microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of pre-cooked crumbled breakfast sausage.
  3. Microwave on high for 30 seconds after which push the edges toward the center and cook further for 15 to 45 seconds longer depending on taste.
  4. Quarter egg and put on quartered 6” flatbread pieces.
  5. Top with 2 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese and microwave for an additional 10 to 15 seconds on high to melt cheese and heat flatbread.
  6. For variety add grilled tomatoes (see above recipe) and Italian seasoning. Serves one.

Breakfast In A Jar

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces of bacon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. You will need four 10 to 12 oz. microwave safe jars with screw lids.
  2. The night before place eight pieces of bacon between two pieces of paper towel, microwave 2 to 3 minutes on high until crispy.
  3. Break into small pieces and set aside.
  4. In the morning place 1½ equivalent slices of bacon, two eggs, 2 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tablespoons of milk to each jar.
  5. Screw on lid and shake vigorously.
  6. Remove lid, microwave for 60 seconds then in 15 second intervals until set.
  7. Top with last of bacon and sprinkle with a little bit of cheddar cheese and serve.

 

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