Need Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Picky Eaters

Updated on October 11, 2011
A.K. asks from Omaha, NE
23 answers

My kids are not into cereal, oatmeal or toast and my son hates eggs. Breakfast has always been challenging for me b/c the options seem limited. They do like waffels which we buy whole wheat with sugar free syrup but they aren't fond of them. We need to cut the sugar out. They like poptarts & toaster strudels. I try to make muffins when I have time but I am not as diligent as I should be about making them. What do you guys feed your picky eaters? Today it was apples which is fine by me but I know I need to change it up so they don't get bored. TIA

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answers from Austin on

Breakfast an be anything.. Ot does not have to be "Breakfast food."

When we were growing up,
I loved soup for breakfast.
Cold left over Pizza
a sandwich
left overs from dinner
Quesadillas with tortillas and cheese.

How about biscuits and sausage
English muffins
baked potatoes
Wheat waffles with peanut butter
Fruit salad
Cheese and crackers with fruit
Peanut butter and crackers with fruit

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I think we get into the idea that there are only certain foods that should be eaten for breakfast. The reality is, any food that a child will eat, especially if they are preferential eaters (I like that term better than "picky") can become breakfast food. Growing up, I was like the children mentioned by TIA--I am not very fond of eggs or cooked cereal, and cold cereal or toast becomes boring, day after day. So my mother, in her wisdom, deemed anything I would eat would work for breakfast--the idea is to get the fuel in the body and "break the fast" of overnight sleeping. So, I would have interesting breakfasts like a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a bit of leftovers from the previous evening's supper, a warmed ground beef patty, tuna and crackers, fruit salad, or anything that I would actually eat. There were less arguments in the morning, I had something in my system to run on, and all of us were happy. As I raised my own son, I ascribed to the same theory, but added the idea that I would look for good "on the go" things for him to eat as we drove to school.
My theory is: any food can be for breakfast!

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answers from Redding on

My kids loved cream of wheat, made with milk and raisins. They would have cold cereals as well, usually frosted mini wheats along with a piece of peanut butter toast and always some sliced apple, pear or orange on the side. Have you tried scrambled eggs with little ketchup. Ketchup will make kids eat lots of things they normally will scoff at, and ketchup is actually pretty good for you. I'd watch out for the sugar free things, they are not supposed to be very healthy and usually carry a lot more calories than we realize.
If your kids like hambugers there's nothing wroing with giving them one for breakfast.
Truth be told it's best to eat dinner for breakfast.
Main thing is that you want your child to remain full until lunch time otherwise they really cant concentrate on school work while their little tummy is rumbling.
Blender drinks with some added ground flax seed for fiber can stick the ribs for several hours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm big into protein in the AM so that they stay satisfied all morning. My children don't like eggs either (GRRRR) so it is a bit harder to come up with ideas. We do fruit with :

Cottage Cheese
PB Toast
Cheese Toast
Greek Yogurt (b/c of all the extra protein in it)
and I even do cold cuts every so often (if you've ever traveled in Europe - they have a cheese and meat tray at every buffet breakfast)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

How about smoothies - you can make them the night before so they're ready to go in the morning. You can add all sorts of healthy things to smoothies - like roasted/pureed beets into a blueberry/strawberry/banana smoothie. Throw some yogurt in there for texture.

And I wouldn't worry too much about giving your kids real maple syrup...I would almost think that would be healthier than some weird sugar-free version. As long as they aren't drowning everything they eat in it, I think it's fine. Then they might like those whole wheat waffles better. :) Also you can add some cinnamon to them for a little more flavor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I tried the whole grain waffles AND sugar free syrup...yuck, not nice. If you're doing Pop Tarts and strudels, break out the real maple syrup! Do they like ham, or do you not like the sodium...ham quesidillas, yogurt and Nutragrain bar, yogurt w/dry cereal (it doesn't get soggy like w/milk), fruit and a granola type bar....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

i would have them set up a breakfast menu.

monday- apples with peanut butter dip
tuesday- waffles
wed- muffin
thurs- pop tart
friday- fruit again?

why are you so gun hoe about sugar. i mean i know they shouldnt get too much but they arent going to become sugar monsters on regular syrup. maybe give them the choice to pick their own cereal (with out your input).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Fruit. Yogurt. English muffins. Bagels. Pineapple and cottage cheese. Cold rice with milk, a small sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. Cream of Wheat with a touch of brown sugar. Cornbread (we make a double batch whenever we have chili for breakfast later).

My DD likes cereal plain, no milk. She'll eat "mixed up cereal" where I cut something like fruit loops with cheerios or kix.

My SS used to eat Stouffer's mac and cheese on cold mornings. Whatever... at least he was eating.

If they like muffins, Krusteaz makes some super simple and tasty blueberry muffin mix.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Is there a healthy lunch that they like? There is no reason ( other than time) why lunch and dinner foods can not be served for breakfast.

Don't have much advice from my home. Mine are not picky.

Try these maybe

Tortilla with shredded cheese melted in the toaster oven or Microwave serve with apples or broccoli. You can even add a turkey sausage patty in.

Graham crackers and milk

Somebody said grits (my fav bf food with bacon) my youngest loves it plain

Buy the muffins

Greek Yougurt with loose granola ( my 7 yo fav)



answers from Boston on

My picky eater drinks Carnation Instant Breakfast in 1% chocolate milk, about 7 ounces. It provides 2x the protein of an egg and 2x the calcium of milk alone. She will also eat left overs from dinner for breakfast. Occasionally cinnamon bread. We just found she like Paul Newman Vanilla Almond cereal - her complaint is that she does not like it soggy and this one stays crunchy the whole time.
Special K has protein bars that I eat on the way to work and they taste like candy bars, in the isle with Ensure and Atkins bars (not with granola bars and cereals in Shaws at least). The kids will eat the Quaker chewy granola bars with chocolate chips or the strawberry ones with white icing. They also like left over dinner rolls with some strawberry jam. Eggs are not big favorites here either.



answers from Springfield on

Wow - a lot of great ideas out there - I'm going to try some with my picky eater. His favorite right now is hot dogs! He will also eat tuna and crackers or popcorn..! I figure that if he has a glass of milk or juice and one of those little yogurts with it then he is set until lunch at 10:30.



answers from Dallas on

My boys like a ham and cheese sandwich for breakfast these days.



answers from Phoenix on

I just fed my picky eaters buckwheat pancakes for breakfast. I have a really good recipe if you care. And you can sneak in healthy things into the batter... like wheat germ, flax meal, almond meal. And I top it with a little drizzle of honey. I'd stay away from anything "sugar free". It is usually loaded with chemicals. And you can make pancakes anytime and heat them up later.

Almond butter on a cracker with honey.

Quinoa "pancakes"... make it and then mix with egg and cook up like pancakes.

You can google this and there are good ideas too. I can't remember exactly, but I saw online where a lady made baked french toast and put fresh berries all over the top with a little cream cheese, and it got all gooey and yummy.



answers from Cincinnati on

do they like yogurt. Personally I like yogurt and fruit on my waffles instead of syrup. My son eats bananas and peanut butter alot for breakfast. (I split the banana in half, spread the peanut butter and put it back together like a sandwich.)


answers from Phoenix on

Fruit Salad is a great healthy breakfast. Bananas with a little honey and nuts on them is also great.
Most of the time my son doesn't want breakfast food for breakfast. He wants lunch food, which is fine with me. :-) I'll fix him a sandwich for breakfast, or he'll have fruit.
Yogurt with granola
Cheese and Grapes

Fruit and Berries is always a great way to start the day. :-) Carnation Instant Breakfast drink, or make a fruit smoothie.

Hope this helps.



answers from Albuquerque on

You might want to check out She focuses on healthier meals. I know she has a recipe for pop tarts too. She substitutes sugar for sucanat in her recipes.

I've been making the following waffle recipe for the past few month and it's soooo good. It has corn meal in it so it adds a little ummph. The recipe makes a ton so I just freeze them in a bread bag and toast them up in the morning.

You can find syrup that has no high fructose corn syrup, I think that's worse than sugar. Real maple syrup is healthy but sooo expensive!



answers from San Diego on

My daughter likes yogurt and graham crackers or a banana and yogurt or if not yogurt sometimes she likes applesauce. Sometimes I also put peanut butter on the graham crackers for protein.



answers from Victoria on

fruit is a great one for my kids, grapes, rasins, apples and sometimes they like bananas but strawberries are always a hit with both kids. my kids wont eat eggs either. i do make wheat potato pancakes (using wheat flour, sweet potatoes mashed up and all the other stuff to make a pancake ) they love them and i get a veggie in there. i dont put any sugar in the mix either! make a big bowl of them and once cooled layer individualy in wax paper then put in a freezer bag and toss a couple in the toaster to warm and crisp them. we use honey (local bees ) instead of syrup or even maple syrup. those are both sugar but i feel better about it because its less processed. i also freeze muffins but i always froget about them. my kids wont eat eggs but they will eat french toast. again wax paper and freezing them (a few drops of vanilla, cinimon, milk n eggs). my kids will also eat fiber one bars and other cereral bars. my girl will actualy eat sausage! i want to try those breakfast corn dogs again. we also eat lucky charms cereal bars ...i heard once that that has the most vitimans out of the sugary cereals ! wheat tortillas with cheese melted. my son would drink a V8 low sodium can. but we went too long between serving them and now he does not like them. oh and yogurt ~! they both love drinkable and can find the sugar amounts on the packages.



answers from San Antonio on

I buy flax seed whole wheat organic toaster waffles. I literally will drop real maple syrup on each square. Mine also like cinnamon raisin toast w/peanut butter. For a while it was strawberry Kashi cereal bars for the toddler.

Mine will drink two glasses of soy milk, so there is a lot of protein in there.

Fruit is usually a hit strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, grapes, oranges.

And both of mine will eat the Kashi brand cereal that looks like cheerios. And right now they are eating a hot cereal blend w/flax and whole wheat cooked in soy milk that I put a spoon of cocoa powder in and call it coco wheats...they think chocolate cereal for breakfast is the best ever....I hate to break it to them but it is super healthy

Neither of mine will eat eggs...



answers from Phoenix on

You can make waffles or pancakes and add fruit to them. You can sweeten them with Agave Nectar (super cheap at Costco) and use real maple syrup. You can also make an omelet with veggies and put it in a tortilla with cheese. Give them fruit with their breakfast. You can also get a juicer (juice extractor) and juice carrots with apples for added nutrition. When my kids were little I used to chop up fresh veggies and put them in everything!!! It works on husbands too...LOL



answers from Houston on

I believe that anything I make at home with ingredients I can pronounce is healthier than popular store-bought equivalents. That said, I'm better at breakfast than other meals, but I still feed my girl store-bought stuff (to clarify that I'm not at all judging, but simply setting up my suggestion...).

So.... with that said, on weekends, I'll try to make a double batch of pancakes (with white flour - gasp!). Since I am usually only feeding myself and my daughter (as dad is at work), I freeze the rest. Same with muffins/banana bread/french toast/etc. If I see it in the frozen food section frozen, I freeze it myself!

My frozen stuff doesn't take any longer than store-bought (except the 1/2 hour to hour on the weekend to cook it) to reheat and it's cheaper! And, again, I know what she's eating. Pancakes and french toast may not be peanut butter on organic whole wheat toast (though, I'm SUPER lucky - my daughter will happily eat that, too), but it's not Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts (both of which I like and may occasionally feed my daughter).

Those would be my suggestions. Next time you make pancakes or french toast or muffins, double or triple the batch and freeze the leftovers. Then pull them out the night before to thaw in the fridge (or cook them as you would store-bought) and voila! you have breakfast!


answers from Rochester on

You can top fruit with all kinds of things...peanut butter, apple butter, whipped cream, cream cheese, etc...those are fairly healthy options, and will give them variety.

Try non-kids cereal. My daughter really doesn't like all the kids stuff, but she loves Honey Bunches of Oats. I personally like grits, if you've never tried them for your children...give it a shot. :) say he hates them, but you can try doing them up different ways. My children love scrambled eggs if I scramble lots of cheddar cheese in (that's the only way I'll eat them, too) and my oldest likes basted eggs with toast to dip in (I have no fear of raw eggs.)

You can make jiffy muffins really quickly and cheaply, but they're not any healthier than PopTarts or Toaster Strudels...both of which are treats, really, not breakfast.

You can think outside the box, too...doesn't have to be breakfast food. Why not sandwiches, wraps, etc?

Also, I agree with everyone on the syrup...use real syrup. Sugar-free varieties of anything are full of chemicals. My daughter actually prefers whipped cream on her waffles and pancakes, and I'm okay with that. Better than syrup.

Try some veggie sausage links and see if they like them? Or just plain sausage...I know it's not the healthiest, but we eat sausage about once a week.



answers from Des Moines on

There's no law that says that just because it's morning you have to eat "breakfast" foods. Since I work night shift we have supper foods at breakfast time and breakfast foods at supper time at least as often as the other way around. No matter what time of day it is home made pizza is AWESOME!

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