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30+ Ideas For Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Proper nutrition is essential for your toddler, and there’s no better place to start than with a good breakfast. This post will cover the importance of a healthy toddler breakfast and share several toddler breakfast ideas that are sure to be a hit.

strawberry baked oatmeal with wooden spoon in white baking dis

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Whether you did baby led weaning or purees, your toddler has been eating solid foods for a while!

And these toddlers have opinions when it comes to food. On top of that, they are non-stop/

Seriously, my toddler wakes up early and hits the ground running.

We can entertain him with these food activities for toddlers for a while, but then we move on to the next thing.

The one thing that can get my fiesty toddler to slow down a bit is mealtime. It helps that he’s still in a highchair, and that makes it easier to feed him some of my favorite toddler breakfast ideas.

To properly fuel your toddler’s quickly growing body, curious mind, and boundless energy, a healthy toddler breakfast is key.

Whether you need easy toddler breakfast ideas or breakfast ideas for picky toddlers, we’ve got you covered!

waffles for babies on white plate with raspberries for serving

Importance of a Healthy Breakfast for Toddlers

Feeding a toddler brings its own set of challenges. One day they love a food and can’t get enough of it. The next day, they refuse to eat it.

Toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. They are learning how to become independent, and the one thing they know they can control is their food intake.

The trick to raising an intuitive eater is to keep your cool, allow them to test their independence, and offer a wide variety of nutritious foods.

And that includes breakfast.

toddler holding and eating dairy free pumpkin muffin

Sure, you’ve likely planned for lunch (including summer lunches for kids) and dinner (like these toddler freezer meals, but we want breakfast to be emphasized, too!

Here is why you should ensure your toddler eats a solid breakfast—and some ideas for breakfast foods for toddlers that are great for all ages.

  • Start the day off right! – Breakfast is the first opportunity for nourishment to start your child’s day. Even for those busy mornings, prepping breakfast in advance is key.
  • Extra nutrients – Kids who eat breakfast often get more nutrients in. To take that a step further, if you eat breakfast with your toddler, they are more likely to have a better quality diet overall.
  • Better mood and stable energy – A healthy toddler breakfast can set your kiddo up for a better mood throughout the day and more stable energy levels. Not to mention improved sleep at night!
  • Detriments of skipping breakfast – Skipping breakfast is associated with a greater chance of obesity, missed nutrients, behavioral disruptions and more.

As a dietitian and mom of three, I’m a big fan of eating breakfast with the whole family, when possible. Your toddler learns so much from you, especially how and what to eat.

Now that you know the importance of breakfast for toddlers, let’s break down some quick toddler breakfast ideas.

A healthy toddler breakfast needs a well-balanced combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat (the 3 major food groups).

baby in high chair eating yogurt

Carbohydrates for Toddlers

Carbohydrates typically come the easiest for toddlers and parents. They are found in foods like bread, oats, pasta, rice, tortillas, potatoes, sweetpotatoes, fruit, and milk.

Once digested, carbohydrates become glucose—the primary fuel that provides energy.

This energy powers movement, brain function, growth, and development for your toddler.

Complex carbohydrates that are higher in fiber, like whole grain or whole wheat, can aid in digestion, and can help with those pesky bouts of constipation!

baby pancakes on blue plate with yogurt on top

Protein for Toddlers

Protein is made up of amino acids—the building blocks of your toddler’s cells, muscle, connective tissue, skin, and more.

Protein at breakfast is not only essential for growth and tissue repair, but it helps keep your toddler full between meals and snacks.

But, protein can be a little more tricky, especially for picky toddlers or if your kids don’t eat meat.

But, there are lots of other easy protein-rich foods to sneak in, like eggs, meat, cheese, milk, yogurt, legumes (such as peanuts, beans, lentils), and tofu.

baby egg muffins on plate

If you feel like your toddler is constantly asking for snacks, he/she may not be getting enough protein to keep them full, especially with breakfast recipes.

We love using bean recipes for toddlers to increase protein because they seamlessly blend into things – like this chocolate black bean smoothie.

Learn more about protein in this post about protein ideas for kids lunches.

black bean smoothie topped with bananas and cocoa nibs

Fat for toddlers

Fat, especially omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA, are crucial for brain development, especially in infants and growing toddlers.

Besides brain health, fats provide calories for energy, help your toddler absorb vitamins, and aid in hormone production.

And they provide flavor!

You can find fat in nuts, seeds, oils, butter, fatty fish, full-fat dairy products, and peanut butter (yes, it is safe and you should introduce peanut butter early on to prevent allergies).

variety of unsaturated fatty acids

Vitamins and Minerals

Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, will round out your toddler’s breakfast.

Your child will get vitamins and minerals from their carbohydrate, protein, and fat sources, but some of the most micronutrient-dense foods are fruits and vegetables.

Vitamins and minerals are essential for proper growth and development, bone health, immune function, healing, and brain function.

We often rely on these vegetable recipes for toddlers as sides to meals. You can even serve them family-style on the breakfast table. Exposure counts!

honey parsnips in air fryer
Air Fryer Honey Parsnips

Best Breakfast for Toddlers

Honestly, the best breakfast for toddlers is one that comes together quickly, has nutrient-dense ingredients, and will actually get eaten!

Like we mentioned earlier, aim for a combination of carbohydrates (with fiber), protein and healthy fats at breakfast to fill toddlers up and make sure they are getting essential nutrients.

Most toddlers will be hungry for breakfast. Even if you still happen to be nursing your toddler, breakfast comes next.

baked sweet potato oatmeal with blueberries in baking dish

Here’s a sample of what my 18 month old food schedule.

It’s totally normal if your toddler wants the same thing every day for a month, and then switches to another preferred.

The best thing to do is to keep offering a variety of foods, without mealtime pressure. They will eat!

When I have extra time, I like to prepare and freeze batches of muffins, pans of baked oatmeal, and egg bakes so I have plenty of options ready-to-go.

Breakfast Foods for Toddlers

These toddler breakfast ideas can appeal to even the pickiest of toddlers. Some together quickly if you need rapid breakfasts, and others can be prepped in advance!

Remember, the best breakfast for kids is nutritionally balanced and provides vital nutrients for their growth and development.

Below are some breakfast foods for toddlers that you can try:

Cereal

I can’t write a post about breakfast without including cereal. Cereal can be a great option when you’re looking for convenience.

Cereal tends to get a bad rap, but it can easily fit into a balanced diet.

Bowl With Cereal and Milk

Most cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals and contain whole grains. In addition, when paired with full-fat milk, cereal can check all of the boxes.

One thing you need to watch out for is the added sugar. Added sugar should be limited in kids under 2 years old.

Try to find cereals with less than 6-8 grams of added sugar per serving, as well as more than 2-3 grams of fiber!

Some of my favorite cereals include:

Waffles, Pancakes, or French Toast

There’s something about pancakes or waffles that makes a breakfast feel special, especially when you’re a kid.

And just because they’re labeled pancakes or waffles doesn’t mean they are unhealthy! In fact, pancakes and waffles are great options for adding in veggies.

We love to use Kodiak Cake mixes for extra protein. And these kodiak cake sheet pan pancakes are so fun!

They are one of my favorites to include in a slow weekend breakfast. A little bit of maple syrup goes a long way.

baby led weaning pancakes with yogurt on top

To minimize added sugar in your toddler’s diet, I suggest using applesauce or mashed sweetpotato for toppings (sweetpotatoes for toddlers are a great way to boost nutrition).

We often use plain full-fat greek yogurt (sometimes mixed with vanilla greek yogurt), or nut butter as well.

Muffins

You may have noticed I have a lot of muffin recipes. That’s because you can’t go wrong with offering healthy muffins to toddlers, or any baked goods for that matter.

Bonus: you can hide veggies in your muffins to give your toddler some extra vitamins and minerals.

In addition, you can use whole wheat flour to increase the fiber content.

sweet potato apple muffins on white plate

We make a lot of mini muffins and freeze for later!

You can also top the muffin with, or pair with, greek yogurt and nut butter to offer protein and healthy fat as well.

I’ve shared a round-up post of healthy baby led weaning muffins, which works for toddlers, too.

Here are some recipes:

Oatmeal

Another food on repeat at our house is oatmeal.

It can be made ahead in big batches (overnight oats or baked oatmeal), in minutes in the microwave or as stovetop oatmeal, or made in big batches (baked or crockpot oatmeal).

I often meal prep oatmeal at the beginning of the week!

Steelcut Banana Oatmeal topped with banana slices and cinnamon on white counter | Bucket List Tummy

Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which not only aids in healthy digestion, but also stabilizes blood sugar.

That means your toddler is less likely to crash (or have a major meltdown) between meals.

Oatmeal is actually one of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas for toddlers because of all the nutritious add-in’s, as well.

Some of my favorites include chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, nut butter, yogurt, and fruit.

There are so many oatmeal options to choose from, depending on what season you’re in and what your toddler likes (hot vs. cold, creamy vs. hard, etc.).

Eggs

Eggs are a powerhouse food that deserves a spot in your breakfast rotation for the entire family as well.

Loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals, eggs are excellent for kids’ brain health.

egg muffins for baby with red peppers

Plus, they are filling and will leave your toddler satisfied for a while after breakfast. You may even be able to avoid 2nd and 3rd breakfast!

Besides simply scrambling or hard-boiling, here are some ways to prepare eggs for your toddler:

Bagels and Toast

Bread products can be a great breakfast food for toddlers, especially if they have a smaller appetite.

Try to buy whole grain toast and bread products (We love Dave’s Killer Bread) and you can top with a healthy fat, like butter, peanut butter, seed butter, avocado or cream cheese.

You can also top with chia seeds or flax seeds, seasonings, fruit and veggies. For example, avocado toast with eggs and sliced tomatoes.

Or toast with peanut butter, bananas and hemp seeds.

Chickpea toast with hardboiled eggs

Smoothies

Is your child a bit of a fussy eater? Need to pack in some fruits and vegetables? Smoothies are the answer.

You can put just about anything in a smoothie. Including nutrient-dense foods like chia seeds, kale, spinach, sweetpotato, beets, and berries.

yogurt, mango and cantaloupe in smoothie

Add in a source of protein, like Greek yogurt to smoothies, and you’ve got a solid meal to kick off your toddler’s day.

Smoothie are always the epitome of easy breakfast ideas, in my opinion. Just throw everything in a blender.

I’ve rounded up toddler smoothie recipes before, but here are some of my kids’ favorites:

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese

While yogurt is a staple in our toddler smoothies, we aren’t always throwing it in the blender. Yogurt itself makes for a great breakfast food for toddlers.

Greek yogurt is high in protein and the probiotic power of yogurt cannot be denied. We often use it in these DIY yogurt pouches!

Introducing yogurt to babies and toddlers can help improve digestion and immune function—pretty important if your kiddo puts everything into their mouths.

9 month old baby eating yogurt off spoon

I like to make our own DIY yogurt pouches for a convenient breakfast or snack. Get the whole-fat version to get in the full balance of carbs, protein, and fat.

You can add berries or other fruits to plain yogurt to give it flavor. Peanut butter also makes a great mix-in.

Some of my go-to yogurts are:

  • Stoneyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
  • Chobani Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
  • FAGE Total Whole Milk Greek Yogurt
  • Oikos Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

Other Toddler Breakfast Ideas

There are some other breakfast foods for kids that can be easy to make and provide the nutrients they need.

toast with banana, pb and flax seed

Foods like whole wheat toast with peanut butter and fruit (fresh fruit, dried or frozen fruit) make a great breakfast for your growing toddler.

Here are some other ideas:

Of course, nothing limits you to just “breakfast foods”. If your child wants a peanut butter sandwich at breakfast time, by all means, make it!

Breakfast for toddlers is simply food to break their fast and give them the energy they need for their day.

healthy toddler breakfasts graphic collage

References:

  • Berge JM, Truesdale KP, Sherwood NE, et al. Beyond the dinner table: who’s having breakfast, lunch and dinner family meals and which meals are associated with better diet quality and BMI in pre-school children?. Public Health Nutr. 2017;20(18):3275-3284. doi:10.1017/S1368980017002348
  • Longo-Silva G, Bezerra de Oliveira PM, Pedrosa AKP, et al. Breakfast skipping and timing of lunch and dinner: Relationship with BMI and obesity. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2022;16(6):507-513. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2022.10.012
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