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Sassy Mama’s Top 8 Healthy Breakfasts for Kids… Start your day off with a bang!

EatPost Category - EatEat - Post Category - CookingCooking

Famous nutritionist Adelle Davis is often quoted as saying: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”

We at Sassy Mama HQ love this because a) it gives us approval to give the first meal of the day the love and attention it deserves and b) we love to feel like royalty… The one change we might make to Ms Davis’ quote is to “Eat breakfast like a queen”!

So, if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s especially crucial for our kiddos who are still growing and developing. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients for your children’s bodies to function properly. It’s not just about growth and development, though; a good diet is also said to lead to increased concentration in the classroom and better behaviour all around – we can’t argue with that.

So, with that in mind, we have put together our Top 8 Healthy Breakfasts for Kids! These are tried-and-tested faves to give your little darlings all the nutrients and goodness they need to put a bounce in their step and a smile on their faces.

shutterstock_2441410151) Oats so good

A great option for breakfast at this time of year is porridge or oatmeal. When it’s cold outside, a bowl of hot oats makes a warming and comforting breakfast. It’s quick and easy to prepare which is always a bonus for a busy mama.

Why are they good for kids?
Starting the day with high-quality carbs helps kids stay focused during their morning classes and activities — and gives young athletes the fuel they need to bounce, skip and hop.

Oats contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fibre that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream which mean your kiddos have added energy for the day!

Sourcing and preparing
Oats are available right across HK in all supermarkets and online grocery shops. If your littlies aren’t keen at first, spice it up with any number of tasty toppings – try drizzling with honey, sprinkling with cinnamon or mixing in some chopped up banana, raisins or cherries. Or, failing that, you might have to enact ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ at the breakfast table to drum up some interest.

All in all, it’s the ultimate winter breakfast.

shutterstock_2441740602) An egg-ceptional start to the day

The wonderful thing about eggs is their versatility. Chances are that if your munchkin won’t come near a boiled egg, he will wolf down scrambled eggs with glee, or if he prods omelettes with suspicion, he’ll delight in a dish of poached egg on toast. Whether it’s soldiers and dippy egg or sunny side up with tomatoes, eggs are a quick, easy, delicious and nutritious start to your child’s day.

Why are they good for kids?
Eggs are among the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s a no brainer… One egg contains all the nutrients and building blocks required to grow an entire baby chicken! Eggs are loaded with high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats and various trace nutrients.

Sourcing and preparing
Eggs are the ultimate convenience food and can be bought in any supermarket or farm store. Organic and free range are the best.

A cook-your-own omelette station is a great idea. Youngsters love to get involved in the kitchen and as soon as they get the chance to ‘cook-their-own’ something it introduces a new enthusiasm to a dish. You can bring out their inner creativity and even get your little one making omelette faces! The mix of ingredients and fillings along with the eggs ensure that your child has a good nutrient-filled mix for the first meal of the day.

Simply lay out a variety of ingredients for them to choose from like chopped tomato, mushrooms, ham, sausages, bacon, peppers, grated cheese, tinned tuna etc. Let them choose what they want and then help them mix their choices into the egg. We recommend that mamas do the actual cooking and flipping part but once your kiddos see their creations, we are sure they will enjoy chowing down on their nutritious and delicious omelettes.

c7ae2d8010f0ed9c3892afa7a4b021023) Fruity, yoghurty, granola pot

This is the attractive choice and young foodies who care about how their food is presented will love it!

Why are they good for your kids?
A mix of calcium, vitamins from fruit and some energy-packed oat granola can be a great start for any youngster to begin the day with. Nuts and seeds are a great natural source of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and fibre. Twelve of the best nuts and seeds to try and incorporate into your granola are: almonds, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, peanuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.

Sourcing and preparing
You can make these pots yourself from scratch if you have the time, or you can buy them all over Hong Kong from Pret A Manger (banana and honey with greek style yogurt and granola is our fave) to other varieties in city’super and Market Place by Jason.

If you fancy making your little one feel extra special, DIY by pouring in yogurt to fill the bottom third of a little glass jar or pot, followed by some chopped banana or berries to fill the second third and store-made granola for the topping. OR, go all out and make your own mix from start to finish (check out our recipes below!).

To make yogurt:
Pour 500ml of milk into a saucepan and whisk in 25g of powdered milk. If this is pasteurised, heat to 85C, stirring occasionally, then leave to cool to about 46C (this process results in thicker yogurt and kills unwanted bacteria). If you use UHT simply warm it to 46C. Then whisk or stir in the live yogurt – about 3 tbsp. Before the mixture can cool, pour it into your warmed thermos(es) and screw down the lid(s). Leave it for 8 hours or so.

To make the fruity compote:
Tip 500g of mixed berries into a large pan with 2-3 tbsp of water, sugar to taste and your choice of flavouring (vanilla, cinnamon, fresh mint or lemon). Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes. Don’t overcook them, or the fruits won’t hold their shape. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To make granola:
Heat oven to 150C. Mix 2 tbsp veg oil, 125 ml maple syrup, 2 tbsp honey and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a large bowl. Tip in 300g rolled oats, 50g sunflower seeds, 4 tbsp sesame seeds, 50g pumpkin seeds and 100g flaked almonds and mix well. Tip the granola onto two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes then mix in 50g coconut flakes and 100g dried berries and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove and scrape onto a flat tray to cool.

Layer the three together and you have one superb breakfast for your little lucky monkey.

032b806ef810a8203b28a2810d7c5e894) Smooth operator

We know not all mamas’ days are as smooth running as we’d like them to be but we can certainly start them off with a s-m-o-o-t-h breakfast! So, if your kids aren’t good at sitting still for breakfast, are more often than not darting about all over the place or simply don’t react well to a plate of something healthy-looking, a smoothie is a great option.

Why are they good for kids?
Well, where do we start? In among the tastiest of ingredients you can easily slip in some of the least popular foods, like veg! Just remember to limit any sweetening and keep them as natural as you can.

Sourcing and preparing
If you’re feeling creative and you have the time you can literally use any fruit and veg you have in your fridge, so you can make it quite spontaneously. Otherwise, you can buy great smoothies from Innocent smoothies which are available in Fusion stores and other supermarkets. Also, Pressed Juices has an amazing array of smoothies and juices. Pick up in store at Central or Quarry Bay or order home delivery.

A basic Sassy Mama fave is this blueberry shake. All you have to do is to whizz together:

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • A few ounces of unsweetened coconut milk, Greek yogurt or almond milk
  • A few ounces of ice
  • Enough water to help it blend
  • Favourite natural sweetener to taste

And hey presto, you have the perfect start to your little one’s day…just be sure to make enough for yourself as well!

ed82758075091b11119e7e838fd6d0f35) Muffin in moderation

We’re suckers for good muffins but are the first to admit that not all muffins are super healthy. You have to watch out for the sugar content in these buns as it can sky rocket in some cafe versions. And we all know what too much sugar can do to the tots. However, you can find heart-healthy muffins, particularly the bran versions, that make a good breakfast for a weekend treat and provide a way of sneaking in some healthy goodness through the addition of seeds, nuts and even fruit and veg.

Why are they good for kids?
Muffins add variety to the breakfast list of options and you can sneak in some ingredients your little tikes might not otherwise agree to.

Sourcing and preparing
Try these quinoa and mixed fruit muffins which are packed with nutrients but still moist and satisfying!

9935ab83d1a5a0de15d2edfac1a8b6866) Who loves toast the most?

Kids do! Good quality bread, made with wholemeal or rye flour and omitting any nasties forms the base of a yummy, simple meal. Add some real, natural butter or nut butter topped with banana and you have a fantastic filling for your child’s tummy.

Why are they good for kids?
Wholegrain varieties of bread with added nuts, seeds or dried fruit can be full of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Children need butter because fat is necessary for the building activities of cells, for the oxidation process of the body. Almond butter and peanut butter offer fibre, carbohydrates, fat and protein and as a result are both healthy choices.

Sourcing and preparing
When looking for the best bread for your tots, remember, it only takes 4 ingredients to make bread – flour, yeast, water and salt, there’s really no need for any other nonsense. So, read the label or ask the chef!

Eric Kayser make some great loaves from natural ingredients.

11255078d0d7417511b7342cd05ea71b7) Dippy for dippers

Fruit dippers and nut paste = yum. Kids definitely seem drawn to food presented in novel ways and opportunities to get their hands on the stuff. A simple plate of sticks of fruit and a bowl of something healthy to dip them in provides just that experience. If your kiddos aren’t nut eaters, some like dipping fruit in cream cheese, fruit compote, hummus or a favourite – peanut butter!

Why are they good for kids?
Different types of fruit provide different nutrients but in general fruit builds our immunity, can nurse us back to health, and perk up our body’s energy levels – all good news for the nippers.

Sourcing and preparing
Slice up your little one’s fave fruit into strips and put an appropriate dip in a pot – yes, it’s as easy as that.

c9263c005b96a7a3a54cca27318e868e8) Partial to pancakes

Pancakes are great fun for kids – older ones can attempt the flipping ceremony and younger kiddos can enjoy taking a pick-n-mix approach to topping them and then rolling them up or any other innovative approach that takes their fancy.

Why are they good for kids?
Wholewheat flour and soy milk pancakes can make a healthier alternative to some of the more traditional recipes.

As we said before, natural almond nut butter is packed with nutritious protein and when nut spread meets sliced banana it’s a match made in heaven. Scrambled eggs = protein goodness and avocados are everyone’s favourite healthy fat. The great thing about apple butter is that its made from 100% apples and nothing else! Add the protein-rich nutrition of a few slices of cheddar cheese and you have a balanced and nutritious brekkie.

Sourcing and preparing
You can fill bowls with a number of healthy options and let them dig in. Favourites range from dark cherries and cream, mixed berry puree, tomato and mushroom, peaches and cream, goats cheese and spinach, almond butter and bananas, egg and avocado, warm apple and cinnamon, cheddar and apple butter, banana vanilla extract and your fave chopped nuts – walnuts and pecans make it taste just like banana bread.

Bon appétit!

Image #1-3 via Shutterstock, image #4-9 via Pinterest

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