These quick, easy and healthy breakfast ideas for toddlers are here to help you ensure your kids start the day with a nourishing and delicious meal no matter how much time you have.
*This post has been reviewed by Dora Babic-Cikos, PhD Nutritional Science
What you will find below here is:
- What food groups your toddler needs nutritionally for breakfast
- Should you ask them to decide for themselves want they want to eat?
- Examples of foods to serve
- Examples of 5 min healthy toddler breakfast ideas, or ones that can be made in advance
What should a toddler be eating for breakfast?
An easy nutrient dense meal consists of - a protein, a fat, a slow-releasing carbohydrate and some fruit or vegetables. Above we have given examples of each and you will see how easy it is to actually provide your toddler with a great meal they will enjoy.
Some foods fall into both a protein and fat category, like nut butters and dairy products. But for the purpose of simplifying things we have kept them in both categories so it is easier for you to create a healthy meal.
You can use the image above as a guide to combine foods to create a nutrient dense breakfast for toddlers.
Afterwards you will also find easy kids breakfast ideas that take 5 min to make or can be prepped the night before.
If you have mastered breakfast, see here for healthy toddler snack ideas.
Should I ask my toddler what they want to eat?
Once they are able to communicate it's best to always have two options on offer and ones you rotate. That way they feel like they have a choice and you still provide a healthy meal. Kids love routine and familiarity so this is an easy way to get them to eat.
In our house, it is usually peanut butter wholewheat toast with fruit or spinach banana pancakes (while my husband and I drink a peanut butter smoothie every morning because we don't have time to sit and eat!).
Protein to include
Protein is necessary to support the growth and development of the body, especially in these early years. Simple examples include:
Fats to include
Fats are healthy and necessary to ensure that enough energy is provided throughout the day.
- Egg yolk
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Coconut oil
- Nut butter
- Chopped nuts
- Olive oil
- Butter (used in moderation)
- Full fat yogurt (mix it with fruit and flavorings like this homemade Banana Yogurt, Mango Yogurt or Vanilla Yogurt)
- Full fat cheese
- Full fat milk
- Seed butters (pumpkin seed butter, sunflower seed butter)
Carbs to include
Carbs provide lots of energy and many options can keep your body fueled for a long time. For breads and processed bread products, wholegrain options have significantly more fiber and minerals vs white alternatives which have hardly any at all.
Veggie and Fruit Ideas
Your best option really is whatever is in season and that your toddler enjoys. Most people don't eat vegetables in the morning but produce like cucumbers, olives and spinach are all very common foods in a Mediterranean breakfast (which is also considered one of the healthiest diets in the world).
- Apples - cut up into thin slices or whole depending on child's ability (try these baked apples)
- Kiwi - peeled, halved or quartered
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Grapes - halved (whole grapes are a choking hazard)
- Mango - peeled and cubed
- Soft nectaries, peaches, plums and apricots - either halved or whole (watch out for the pit)
- Pears - whole if soft, otherwise cut into slices like apples
- Dried fruits - dates, raisins, apricots, prunes (cut up for younger children)
- Cherry tomatoes
Now for some healthy toddler breakfast ideas and recipe inspiration!
Breakfast Ideas For Toddlers
Breakfast for toddlers #1 : Peanut Butter on wholegrain bread
The easiest breakfast that we make in our house - nut butter on whole-grain bread. You can vary the nut butters (peanut butter, walnut butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter), vary the breads (wholewheat bread, rye bread, buckwheat bread). Always served with some fruit - blueberries or banana work perfectly.
Breakfast ideas for picky eater #2: Healthy Pancakes
My go to, especially if I run out of bread - a simple healthy pancake recipe for your baby, toddler or bigger kids. Made from a base of eggs, oats and banana and then if you want you can add a vegetable like spinach, kale or beets. The kids will not taste it but they are still getting those great nutrients. Pancakes are also a great healthy snack.
Ideas for toddler breakfast #3: Cream cheese bagel with fruit
Wholegrain bagel (you can vary the type of bagel it is as long as the majority of it comes from wholegrain flour) and full fat cream cheese or cheese. Pair this with some berries, apple or banana and you have a filling healthy meal for toddlers.
Healthy kids breakfast ideas #4: Healthy granola
Granola is a perfect to start the day with because it can include so many different foods so the child gets lots of different vitamins and minerals straight away in the morning. A lot of store-bought granola is loaded with sugars and preservatives, but it's something you can very easily make at home - and get your toddler to help because they will love pouring all the ingredients into a bowl and then mixing it - because that is basically all you need to do.
Just make sure that any granola chunks are small enough for the age and eating ability of your child so that they don't pose a choking hazard.
Try this easy homemade granola recipe. Serve with milk, yogurt, probiotic rich kefir and some berries.
Breakfast 1 year old #5: Overnight oats
Overnight oats are a great meal for a 1 year old because it is very filling and you can add things like flaxseeds and chia seeds to keep their bowels moving. And you can make the same for you and baby the night before. It takes 5 min, and in the morning you just open the fridge and take it out.
Breakfast ideas for 1 year old #6: Warm oatmeal
Unlike overnight oats, oatmeal cannot really be made the evening before if you want to preserve it's original texture. But it can be made in 5 minutes simply by putting all the ingredients in a pot and letting it simmer for a bit so that the oats soften and bind into a creamy oatmeal with the rest of the ingredients.
It is very filling and a great meal to teach your 1 year old how to use a spoon properly. You can make it with breastmilk, water, plant or animal based milk and add cinnamon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, coconut oil, fruit and anything else your heart desires. And when you get bored just change up the ingredients.
Best Breakfast for Kids #7: Egg muffins
Mix in a bowl/blender 6 eggs, 1.5 tablespoon of milk (any kind), ½ cup chopped spinach, ½ cup hard cheese, pour into muffin cups and bake for 15 - 20 min until set at 350°F/180°C. You can freeze them or keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Serve with cup of yogurt and/or some fruit.
This is also a great healthy snack.
Quick Breakfast Idea #8: Smashed avo on rye bread
Avocado has lots of healthy fats and vitamin E. Smash it, add some lemon juice and top it with some hemp seeds or egg for added protein and serve on rye bread with fruit for a well balanced meal. Depending on your children's age, you may want to remove the crust from the toast.
Breakfast Ideas for Kids #9: Eggs on seeded bun
Eggs - scrambled, fried or boiled on a piece of wholegrain seeded bun with cream cheese or butter. Boiled is my preference because I boil 12 eggs on a Sunday evening, peel them, store in air-tight container in the fridge and then for the next few days I have them ready straight away. Serve with some fruit.
Breakfast Toddler Ideas #10: No-sugar Oatmeal Cookie
You might think - "no, i can't serve a cookie for breakfast". But you can, there are simple cookies that are made from just fruit and oats. It is basically just a different way of serving oats but in a mess free way and one that may be more exciting for your kids. And it is one of those prep in advance and freeze type of foods.
This Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Cookie is made from just oats, apples, bananas and cinnamon.
Best Breakfast for Kids #11: Sheet-pan Pancakes
Sheet-pan pancakes are a great idea because you make the mixture, pop it in the oven and then you don't have to wait next to the hob for the pancakes to be made. Usually we make them from eggs, wholegrain flour, milk, banana and add some fruit on top. Its an easy balanced meal for the whole family.
Our favorite is The Best Banana Oat Sheet Pan Pancake.
On-the-go breakfast idea #12: Energy balls
If you are rushing to get them to daycare, or just need something that they can eat quickly but provides lots of nutrition, try energy balls. They are loaded with nuts and oats that keep kids full for longer, and are sweetened with dates. One kid in our local park actually thought they were chocolate because they were so delicious!
This recipe takes 10 min to make, but is freezable and great to have as a snack or for a quick breakfast - 10 min no bake energy balls.
Breakfast ideas for kids #13: Healthy French Toast
Easy - get some bread, dip in some whisked eggs, milk and cinnamon, and fry, and you have an easy French Toast recipe. You get a bit of protein, dairy and slow-releasing carbohydrates to keep your child full for longer. And you can serve the same thing for the whole family - from babies to adults. Serve with some yogurt and blueberries.
Our favorite is Healthy French Toast.
Healthy Breakfast for toddlers #14: Mediterranean plate
In the Mediterranean (which is known for having one of the healthiest diets in the world) it is common to eat vegetables in the morning, especially salad vegetables. A Mediterranean breakfast can consist of hard boiled egg, cut up cucumbers, cut up tomatoes, radishes, olives, hummus dip, yogurt, cheese / cottage cheese and of course some form of whole grain bread. This is all easy to get out of the fridge, gives kids plenty of options to choose from, and is very yummy.
Easy kids breakfast ideas #15: Wholegrain muffins
Muffins are a great option because you can make huuuge batches in advance and simply refrigerate or freeze them for later use. They can last in an airtight container on room temperature for about 3 days, refrigerator for about 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Healthy Breakfast Idea #16: Smoothies
Smoothies are awesome for on-the-go calories, or when your child is sick but you need to give them nutrients and hydration. And the best thing is that you can make a smoothie with whatever you have at home - just add some sort of carb (oats blend well), and some sort of fat (nut butter, coconut oil, hemp seeds or flaxseeds) to keep it more filling. Use 1 cup milk, ½ cup oats, ½ cup fruit, a teaspoon of fat and you have a delicious smoothie.
Well no food should actually be eaten every day because our goal is to offer various different foods throughout the day and week. But if you give your toddler one egg every day for one week because you are just out of options, it will not do them any harm. Just don't make it a weekly habit.
Similarly as to the eggs, try to mix up the fruits you are offering so that it doesn't get boring for your kids. But what you can do if you are lacking any variety (especially during winter months) is offer it in a different form - raw, pancakes, banana bread, popsicle or cut up into an oatmeal. That said, there's nothing wrong with eating a banana every day.
This is really dependent on you and your schedule. I try and give my children a glass of water and food about half an hour after waking up.
I would avoid giving them milk, yogurt or juice just so that they don't fill up on milk causing them to refuse a solid meal because they are just not hungry any more (they will be in half an hour that way!). I always offer water with breakfast and then milk, yogurt and/or juice can be offered as a snack or part of a snack in between the main meals.
Please let us know what your child's favorite breakfast is and if you have tried any of these!
16 Healthy Ideas for Toddler Breakfast
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup grated hard cheese
- ½ cup chopped up spinach
- 1½ tablespoon milk any kid including plant based
- Preheat the oven to 350°F | 180°C
- Whisk the eggs into a bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
- Spoon bit by bit into a silicone or greased muffin tin (silicone muffin tins don't require greasing).
- Bake for 15-20 min until golden.
- Store in fridge for 5 days or in freezer for 3 months.
- Peanut butter on whole-grain toast
- Banana Pancakes
- Spinach Pancakes
- Beetroot Pancakes
- Healthy Blueberry Pancakes
- Cream cheese bagel with fruit
- Homemade granola recipe
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
- Easy Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Strawberry Oatmeal
- Apple Banana Oatmeal
- Healthy Chocolate Oatmeal
- Egg muffins
- Smashed avo on rye bread
- Eggs on seeded bun
- Healthy Applesauce Oatmeal Cookie
- The Best Banana Oat Sheet Pan Pancake
- 10 min no bake energy balls
- Healthy French Toast
- Mediterranean plate
- Spinach Cornbread muffins
- Blueberry Apple Hazelnut Muffins
- Peanut Butter Smoothie