One of the “first foods” parents typically give their babies is cereal. Adding a little bit of baby cereal to a bottle of milk is a trick that many parents do to keep their babies’ bellies full so that they sleep through the night. Babies grow up eating Cheerios as one of their first snacks and cereal is often the breakfast food of choice for toddlers and growing kids.
But parents should look for a healthier, easy breakfast for their kids. This is because some cereals like Cheerios should be avoided after traces of an ingredient of the herbicide Roundup was found in General Mills products last year.
According to a 2019 report from the Environmental Working Group, the chemical glyphosate was found in 21 of the company’s cereals and products that are oat-based.
While this does mean that children are consuming weed killer in their morning cereal, there are two things to keep in mind. First off, the organic options were found to have a lower cancer risk.
Those who cannot afford organic Honey Nut Cheerios should know that secondly, the traces of the Roundup resulted in a one in a million cancer risk. It would mean eating two cups of Cheerios every day. Keep in mind that there are traces of pesticides and herbicides in many of the food we eat (a reason why many choose organic), and there are studies linking arsenic in rice.
The problem is that for picky eaters, Cheerios might be the only thing that child is eating for breakfast. And if it’s not the Honey Nut Cheerios, it’s the sugary cereals that are colorful, chocolatey or include marshmallows.
Those worries about harmful chemicals or too much sugar should swap out cereal for healthier breakfast alternatives. And these don’t require must time or cooking skills.
Scrambled or hard-boiled cooked the night before and refrigerated.
Eggs are one of the most healthy foods to eat. This is because it’s packed with protein and healthy fat, along with vitamins A, D, E, K B5, B12, B2, selenium, folate, calcium, and zinc.
For three strips of fried bacon, there are 120 calories and 7.5 grams of protein. Bacon can be a great source of protein, but just keep in mind this serving size has 9 grams of fat and lots of sodium. Most of its fat is saturated fat so eating bacon on the regular can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, and increase the risk of heart disease.
Those who love a BLT can instead swap for avocado toast which contains a healthy serving of “good” fat.
Eat Berries and Bananas
Berries are full of antioxidants, whi reduce inflammation and the risk of cancer. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all great breakfast options because these fruits are low in sugar. These are also high in fiber, which means being full longer and help to regulate digestion.
Bananas are also a great breakfast food because it is easy to grab one and go. More importantly, its potassium promotes heart health, and its fiber help with digestion. Bananas also promote healthy eyes and bones.
Not Cherries or Grapes
Cherries, grapes, and even mangoes are some of the most delicious but unhealthy fruits to eat. This is because although these are fruits and do have some nutritional value, these are fruits that are high in sugar. There are so many fruits out there so skip these for a healthy breakfast.
It can be extremely hard to get children to eat leafy greens. Add spinach to that list. But breakfast is the perfect opportunity to add spinach into their diets. Spinach is packed with vitamin C for immune health, as well as vitamins A, K, and B2.
Add spinach to scrambled eggs with cheese, tomato, and mushroom. Add it into frittatas that are easy to bake and freeze for meal prepping.
Not Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a healthy food choice. Packed with carbs, it actually is a healthier source of carbohydrates than pasta or bread. However, this means it is high in sugar. It might not be the best veggie to add in when watching children’s sugar intake.
Cereal is one of the quickest ways to serve up breakfast in the morning. And kids love it. But making a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to take much time and can still taste great.
- Peanut Butter Banana Toast (Toast whole wheat bread and spread with peanut or nut butter and sliced bananas.)
- Scrambled or boiled eggs with sliced strawberries and banana.
- Yogurt with berries.
- Egg frittatas with cheese and veggies.
- Fruit smoothie with almond or oat milk base. Add in spinach for an extra health benefit!
- Avocado on toast.
- Egg and cheese roll-ups.
- Spinach waffles.
- Cottage cheese with berries.
- Mini blueberry pancakes.
While these are all great healthy breakfast ideas as a better alternative to breakfast cereal, parents might also want add in a multivitamin or other children's vitamins to fill gap in diets. Always consult with a pediatrician first.