These budget-friendly breakfast ideas will get your whole family fueled
up for the day ahead.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Starting
the day with a healthy meal keeps children’s physical and mental
energy on track so they are better prepared to face the rigors of the
schoolroom. While it’s important for kids to eat breakfast, what
they eat is equally important. Protein, whole grains, calcium, and fiber
help keep young students focused and alert.
Fortunately, homemade breakfast can be made from ingredients that are better
for your children than processed foods and save you money at the same
time--have you ever noticed how expensive those sugary cereals and frozen
breakfast biscuits are? So-called "health foods" are pricey,
but you don't have to spend big bucks at the gourmet market to start
your kids' day off right. These budget-friendly breakfast ideas will
get your whole family fueled up for the day ahead, whether they're
at the table or in the car.
Whole-Grain French Toast
Whip up a batch of whole-wheat French toast and top with fresh fruit, like
strawberries and blueberries, for a balanced breakfast that will fill
up even the choosiest eaters. Use syrup in moderation. This meal provides
a healthy dose of fiber, protein, vitamins C and B6, omega-3 fatty acids
and other powerful antioxidants that help protect against disease.
Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables
Mix your favorite breakfast ingredient (eggs!) with peppers, tomatoes,
mushrooms or spinach for a quick, veggie-intensive breakfast that’s
easy on your wallet. This meal is a powerful one-two punch of protein
and essential vitamins (A, B6, C, E, and K), giving your kids vital nutrients
to maintain strong, healthy bodies.
Egg and Tomato Sandwich
Top an egg-covered whole-wheat English muffin with tangy tomato slices
for an affordable source of vitamin C and carotenoids.
Skip instant oatmeal and buy a container of steel-cut or old-fashioned
oats for your morning breakfast routine. These less processed oats are
high in calcium, fiber and protein. Top with low-fat milk, fresh fruit
and honey to give your kids a warm, healthy and budget-friendly meal.
Not only are smoothies a quick and easy option, if you add the right ingredients
they are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients. Try a strawberry, banana
and kale smoothie for a tasty morning treat. Kale is very high in protein
and fiber while low in calories, making it one of the healthiest foods
available (and it’s very affordable at approximately $2 per bunch).
Hard Boiled Eggs
Boil eggs the night before school for a quick and easy meal on the go,
just be sure to peel the eggs before heading out the door. On average,
eggs are affordable at $2-$3 per dozen. Eggs contain small amounts of
almost every vitamin and mineral vital to the human body, but are especially
high in B2 and selenium—just remind your kids to eat the yolk where
most of these important nutrients are found.
Store-bought muffins often contain high amounts of sugar, and lack vitamins
and other nutrients important for kids. Make healthy zucchini or strawberry
and banana muffins ahead of time to give your kids a perfectly portable
breakfast bursting with fiber, manganese, and vitamins A and C. The best
part about these muffins is that you likely have most of the ingredients
in your kitchen already.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Mix low-fat plain yogurt with a fruit of your choice, almond slices and
honey. Prepare the night before for an easy meal on the way to school.
Large containers of plain yogurt are more cost effective than single serve
containers; fruit can be purchased on sale or from the freezer section
to keep costs low. Almonds can be replaced with a less expensive nut or
granola. Combine this delectable medley to fortify your kids with calcium
and L-ascorbic acid for strong teeth, bones and ligaments.
Homemade Granola Bars
Get the kids involved one weekend and make a big batch of healthy, homemade
granola bars; they are a delicious source of iron and calcium. While some
of the ingredients may be specialty items, these granola bars will save
time and money if you buy the oats in bulk. Double the recipe for an extra
large batch, then wrap into individual servings, and enjoy the convenience
of a grab-and-go bar every day.
These inexpensive breakfasts give kids the stamina to listen, learn and
concentrate. Try one of the make-ahead meals this weekend, and tell us
what you think in the comments below; or, share your own budget-friendly