We’ve spent the last couple of months overhauling our breakfasts, especially the children’s. Monday to Friday was a constant reach for the box of cereal, the toddlers naturally want the same as the older ones; this wasn’t sitting well with me. The weekend is quite often pancakes or banana bread with homemade nutella (almond butter, cacao powder & maple syrup), but I needed to fix the weekdays.
A new guideline from the WHO recommends that both adults and children should reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake, while reducing to below 5% – roughly six teaspoons of sugar per day – would be even more beneficial – Irish Health
The nutritional information on a box of cereal is given for serving size of 30g. I know my children are pouring out a lot more than that.
The cereals I buy are Weetabix (Aldi brand), Cornflakes (Tesco brand), & Rice Krispies (Tesco brand). I’ve compiled a little list of the sugar content in these and included some other popular cereals, ( or certainly the ones that have been requested here but I don’t buy!)
I know, at initial glance, the sugar content may appear low in some of these, but do bear in mind, 30g is a small serving. Now, the last thing I am going to do is weigh my children’s breakfast cereal, I don’t think it would help ensure a healthy relationship with food. I did speak to them about the sugar content in breakfast cereals, how processed they are and asked them would they swap their breakfasts so that cereal was only consumed at the very most two mornings a week. I didn’t want to jump in and say right, its gone, that’s it, I’m far from perfect, I’m simply trying to do my best and my household is no different to any busy home, there are mornings when we might running late, a small person may be throwing a tantrum meaning I’m otherwise occupied etc; those mornings a bowl of cereal is better than no breakfast at all!
We started by compiling a list of the breakfasts they would have instead of cereal (you’ll notice the most obvious healthy choice, porridge, is absent from the list, no matter how yummy I make it, not one of them will eat it!!) and then we began to consume #betterbreakfasts
What we introduced & how it was received:
Boiled Egg or Guggy Egg (Boiled egg mashed with butter)
A hit with 4 out of 5 (my fussy boy doesn’t eat eggs), minimal preparation, just ensure it’s decided the night before or included on your weekly menu, so you there’s no questioning in the morning and you can just get breakfast ready and onto the table.
We often have pancakes at the weekend, when we’re chilled out, time is our own and nobody minds waiting, so what we do now is make double at the weekend and keep the pancakes in the fridge or freeze them for mid to late week day mornings. Just pop them into the toaster to warm them, add some fresh fruit & yogurt and you’re good to go. All five children and Mum & Dad enjoy pancakes for breakfast.
Deliciously fresh, packed full of nutrients and vitamins, fresh fruit salad with some good quality yogurt and a sprinkling of milled linseed or toasted porridge oats makes a lovely start to the day. Now I’m well aware that the yogurt aisle in the supermarket is almost bursting at the seems with sugar, so I would suggest a full fat natural yogurt or greek style yogurt or if your children are reluctant to eat plain yogurt, as some of mine are, source a really good quality children’s yogurt such as Glenisk.
These muffins were eaten by all of the children, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say they were loved by all of them. I found them a great breakfast however. Made the night before and simply laid out on the table as the children came down for breakfast or made at the weekend, frozen and left out the night before.
Toast & Jam
What?!! No, it’s not what you think!! Homemade soda bread (or any good quality bread) completely sugar free, a little butter and our jam of choice is Folláin No Added Sugar Strawberry Jam. Enjoyed by everyone.
Smoothies have been a huge hit with Caoimhe, Abbie & Harry. Caoimhe likes a Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie, whilst Abbie & Harry like what Abbie calls a ‘Pink Smoothie’
This little smoothie contains milk, yogurt, porridge oats, banana, red berries & milled linseed.
I’m still working on the flapjacks, at the moment Abbie & Harry are the only two who like them, I will come up with a recipe they will all enjoy or perhaps you would like to link one that is popular with your children?
Again, it was really only Harry who liked the French toast, he really loved it and as with the Toast & Jam breakfast, I used homemade Soda Bread to make it; simply beat an egg with 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract, dip the bread in, ensuring it’s well coated and fry in a little coconut oil.
This granola was a surprise hit, Caoimhe helped with the recipe, it was loved by herself, Abbie, Harry and even Mr. Simply Homemade who normally doesn’t like granola, when we run out they look at me as if to say, ‘How could you let that happen?!’
So, how are we doing?
Great! I am no longer buying the same number of cereals (generally one box per week), Caoimhe, Abbie & Harry in particular are having a great variety of healthy breakfasts, Jack is my fussy eater and is proving harder to change, though having said that, he is skipping cereal in favour of fruit and toast, which I’m happy enough with, especially as most of our bread is homemade. Chloé has been up and out a lot earlier so her breakfast changes are a bit slower, however she’s on her summer holidays now so she too will introduce more healthier options.
I would love to here from you and get some more healthy breakfast recipes, so please link in with #betterbreakfasts. share a breakfast recipe and your thoughts on children’s breakfasts in particular. Feel free to link as often as you like, posts don’t have to be new; and all I would ask is that you:
Mention Simply Homemade & link to this post
Click on the blue frog and enter your details in the inlinkz linky
If you tweet your post, share it on facebook or instagram, use the hashtag #betterbreakfasts
I look forward to seeing your #betterbreakfasts!