The one thing I didn't count on during pregnancy is that children are bottomless pits. You feed them a meal, and an hour later, they're raiding the snack stash. Sound familiar? With some breakfast ideas that keep your kids full until lunch, here's hoping we can save some cash on the chips and salsa. (Or at least get some for ourselves.)
Apparently, there's a trick to keeping kids full in between meals. It all comes down to the food's relative satiety, or the measurement of how filling a food is. The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition devised an index of foods that rates food satiety on a relative scale. Unsurprisingly, simple carbohydrates, like those in toaster pastries and croissants, are some of the lowest rated on the list for satiety. The highest-satiety foods are unprocessed foods like potatoes, beans, proteins, and fruit.
So push aside the glass of orange juice, two pieces of toast, and entire bowl of sugary cereal. If you want to keep kids fueled until lunch, they'll need a truly complete breakfast. Here are 10 filling breakfast ideas that run the gamut from cheesy casserole to egg and veggie bowls to keep kids from snacking the day away.
1. Breakfast Bake
This Denver breakfast bake is a win on more levels than just being filling. It's a make-ahead meal. It has all four food groups, and it makes good use of foods already in your kitchen. Have leftover ham, some cheese, and extra bread? This breakfast bake is perfect to use those leftovers up before they expire.
Will my son douse the whole thing in Cholula hot sauce? Yes, but he'll happily eat it.
2. Hummus For Breakfast? Yes, Please!
I don't know why I never thought of giving my kids hummus for breakfast, but I'm glad Gimme Some Oven came up with this hummus and egg veggie bowl, because my kids will eat just about anything covered in it. Keep it simple for picky eaters with hummus, an egg, a slice of toast, and their favorite veggies.
3. Cornmeal Pancakes With Honey Orange Syrup
I have actually made this recipe for cornmeal pancakes with orange honey syrup. It looks complicated and fancy, but it's easier than it looks and oh-so-filling. Start with whole-grain pancakes and add a few things to the syrup while it heats to ramp up the flavor. Top with your kid's favorite fruits and serve with some hard boiled eggs on the side. They should be good until the early afternoon.
4. Granola Bowls
Pair this delicious blueberry muffin granola recipe from Half Baked Harvest with some yogurt and fruit, and you've got a filling breakfast. It's surprisingly easy to make and one batch will last forever. You can even tweak it as you go along, using ingredients that are in your pantry and omitting anything you know your kids will reject.
5. Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
This make-ahead breakfast sandwich idea from Wholefully features a whole-wheat English muffin and spinach alongside the kid-approved favorite: bacon. Full of good carbs, protein, and fats, you won't even mind if they have seconds, and it's something parents can get behind and enjoy too.
6. Guess What? It Doesn't Have To Be Breakfast Food.
Breakfast means something different in cultures all over the world. My husband's family is from Hainan, China, and his family starts each day with a rice porridge (called jook or congee) that is full of meat and veggies, and it's very filling. This ginger chicken jook recipe from Chowhound is full of flavor.
7. Instant Pot Oatmeal
This Instant Pot oatmeal from Oatmeal With A Fork will save your morning. Put it in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes and tend to the million other things the kids need. When it's ready, kids can independently throw on their favorite oatmeal toppings.
8. A Deceptively Simple Smorgasbord of Healthy Foods
Traditional Japanese breakfasts are delicious, simple, and kids love them. Rice (buy the microwave kind for the mornings if you want), some scrambled eggs, cut fruit and veggies, and that's it. It's so perfect. If you want to add some yummy miso soup, this recipe from Epicurious is fabulous, and you can make a ton of it all at once.
9. Breakfast Enchiladas Because You Need To Eat Too
Table for Two Blog's stacked breakfast enchiladas are making my whole life right now. My kids love anything that looks like it's remotely associated with salsa, so they'll eat the heck out of these.
10. A Vegan Breakfast Bowl
Having served many a scrambled tofu meals to my kids, I can tell you this bowl from Two Peas and Their Pod is something kids will eat if you do. And, it's really good. Top it with avocado or serve it with breakfast potatoes.