One of the great joys of raising older kids is being able to hand over tasks or, uh, sharing responsibilities with them. And I’m not just talking about tweens. Given an age appropriate cooking task, kids as young as 4 and 5 can assist in the kitchen (use our guide to cooking skills by age for help), and by 8- or 9-years-old, they can certainly pack their own lunch or make their own breakfast.
These easy breakfast recipes are a good place for your kids to start if they are beginners in the kitchen, and great go-to’s for older or more experienced kid cooks on busy mornings. And just think: If your kids make their own breakfasts (and maybe even school lunches), you might actually be able to take more than 5 minutes to shower. Imagine that.
Toast is just about the easiest, most satisfying breakfast there is. Most kids are good with regular sliced bread, but you can always pick up a loaf of crusty sourdough from the bakery section of your market for something that feels more special and hearty. Encourage them to go beyond butter for a healthier start to the day: We love these 5 delicious ways to top your toast including this Muesli Toast with Yogurt, Hazelnuts, and Honey at Bon Appetit (pictured).
Every once and a while, we all just feel like we can’t do more than grab a banana and go. (Am I right?) On those days, have your kids take 3 minutes to make one of these Breakfast Banana Pops at Chocolate Covered Katie. My kids are fans of peanut butter, so I may encourage them to use that instead of yogurt to make the granola stick—but either way is great. In fact, these might become a go-to breakfast even on days when they could muster more, because why not when these are so good, healthy, and easy.
Smoothies are such a spectacular way to start the day: They’re light, healthy (just be sure to check out these tips for how to keep the added sugar down), and require zero cooking. If your kids are younger, you can even set them up with these Make-Ahead Smoothie Packs that they can dump into the blender for a nearly instant breakfast. They can drink their smoothie on the go or, even better, turn it into a Breakfast Smoothie Bowl like this one at Woman’s Day with healthy toppings. If they want to branch out of a strawberry-banana rut, you can also share this smoothie recipe app with them. It’s one of our favorites!
With the right brand—these are our favorite healthy yogurts—yogurt can be a healthy, relatively low sugar, protein-packed breakfast all on its own, but making it a parfait adds extra nutrition and heft. It can be as simple as layering yogurt with fresh fruit and granola, like in this Yogurt Parfait at Dashing Dish. If slicing and layering is too much on a busy weekday morning, do as Katie does and have your kid make these up to 3 days ahead of time.
My kids happen to love oatmeal, though I know they’ll never bother to cook a fresh batch on a school day morning. If your kids are the same, teach them how to make an overnight version like this Lemon Maple Overnight Oatmeal at my own site, One Hungry Mama. You shake everything in a mason jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight, and once you get the hang of it, the flavors are easy to change up too. They can eat it cold or warm it up quickly in the microwave.
Breakfast Bagel Bunnies | Handmade Charlotte
I admit that bagels aren’t the most spectacularly nutritious breakfast, but they are an easy kid-pleaser that’s super simple to make. Show your kids the breakfast Bagel Bunnies that we found at Handmade Charlotte last Easter and maybe they’ll be inspired to throw some fruit onto the plate too. You can also prep (or have them prep) a more nutritious cream cheese like this Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese at Skinny Taste that’s packed with nutrient-dense pumpkin puree (out of a can is fine, so long as you get the kind without added sugar).
Okay, so this idea requires a little cooking ahead of time, but I happen to always keep hard boiled eggs in my fridge and, if you do too, your kids will always have a quick, nutritious breakfast that they can whip up in minutes (no cooking for them required). Just an egg is enough for kids who don’t have huge morning appetites, or they can slice the egg to top plain toast, avocado toast, or these Hard Boiled Egg Breakfast Melts at Ellaphant Eats. And you know what: If they’re old enough, you can even pass on our tutorial on how to boil eggs perfectly, which comes with even more quick breakfast ideas, and let them do just a little cooking. It never hurt anyone.