In the morning rush before school, it can be difficult to help your child make healthy choices at the breakfast table. As pediatric dentists in here in Katy, we care a lot about your child’s oral and overall health! Here are some food swap ideas to help ensure your child is getting all the nutrients they need to have a great day at school!
Food to Swap: Sugary Cereal
We know cereal and milk is a staple in family breakfast time. Kids love their sugary cereals! While this can be alright for an occasional treat, you want to avoid getting into the habit of serving dessert-sized amounts of sugar for your child’s first meal of the day. A small amount of sugar at breakfast can help your child start their day with a small burst of energy, but a lot of sugar can lead to an early crash.
Food to Choose: Oatmeal
Instead of fruity, chocolate, or marshmallow cereals with a lot of refined sugars, try oatmeal! There are a lot of convenient oatmeals options available at the market, such as microwavable oatmeal packets and pre-mixed cups! If warm cereal isn’t your child’s favorite, try making overnight oats! Simply mix oats, milk, and their favorite toppings in a jar or bowl and put it in the fridge overnight! The oats will soak and soften by morning. This is also a great option for breakfast on the go. Hot and cold oatmeal are both completely customizable! Mix in toppings like nut butter, fruit, seeds, spices, and anything else you can think of!
Food to Swap: Fruit Juice
A glass of orange juice is often shown as being part of a ‘balanced breakfast’ for kids, but orange juice usually contains a lot of added sugars and is quite acidic. If your child really needs some OJ, go for a small glass and try to find a juice that has been fortified with Vitamin V and has no added sugars
Food to Choose: Real Fruit
Whole, real fruit is always the best way to go. Fruits have great vitamins and minerals, and some contain fiber and other healthy breakfast goodness! Try adding a banana, orange, or berries to your child’s breakfast plate. The natural sugar in the fruit will give them the small burst of energy they need to help start their day without the crash later.
Food to Swap: Syrup
On days when kids have time to enjoy a delicious breakfast of waffles, pancakes, or french toast, sugar consumption can get out of control! While it is perfectly fine to indulge in these classic breakfast treats on occasion, it is a good idea to try to come up with alternatives, especially for the syrup kids like to drown their breakfast in!
Food to Choose: Creative Toppings
Don’t be afraid to try new things! There are plenty of alternatives to syrup that add delicious flavors and health benefits to your child’s favorite breakfast. For example, peanut butter tastes great on waffles! You can also try other spreads, including jams and jellies. Ask your child to help you brainstorm some new ideas!
We hope these swaps will help you and your child have easy, healthy breakfasts on busy school mornings. Let us know if you try any of these hacks in the comments below!