When it comes to your child’s wellbeing, you cannot skimp on a healthy breakfast. According to wellness expert and educator Andrea Hermitt, ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. Without building a habit of eating healthy meals early in the morning, children can be doomed to a poor metabolism problem that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Besides that, numerous studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school. Most kids don’t get a good breakfast because they are short on time.’ So, we’ve gathered together a few effective recipes that can help you ensure your kids get the nutrition they need.
1. Special smoothies
Hectic mornings aren’t just for office commuters, children and young people are often out the door before you can say “Have a nice day!” Therefore, a healthy and nutritious smoothie is perfect for giving them everything they need to start the day, whilst already getting started! Simply whip up a cup of cubed fresh or canned pineapple (canned is probably easiest when you’re pressed for time), one sliced banana, half a cup of low-fat plain yoghurt, a third of a cup of frozen passion fruit concentrate, half a cup of water, two ice cubes and a tablespoon of wheat bran or oat bran in the blender until the smoothie is creamy. In a single serving, there is 109 calories, two grams of fat, 26 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, two grams of fibre and four grams of protein.
2. Amazing apple squares
Apple squares are more of an American-style breakfast but you’ll be happy to bring them to good old Blighty once you realise how simple they are to make! Sure, apple squares are perhaps not as healthy as wholemeal toast or cereal, but these squares do at least contain oats, apples, and nuts, which are all healthy choices. Plus, the key here is to get your kids eating breakfast at all – and there’s no way they can resist these treats. Apple squares are best served as soon as they’re made, but as they take a little time you might want to do them the night before, or save them for a weekend treat – they go really well with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
Start by preheating your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark four, and coat a nine-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Take a large bowl, and combine one and a half cups of self-raising flour, one cup of old-fashioned oats, one cup of light brown sugar, a teaspoon of lemon zest, three-quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg.
Once you’ve combined these ingredients, use your fingers to work in three tablespoons of canola oil and quarter of a cup of apple juice – do this until coarse crumbs form. Peel, core and thinly slice two tart, medium-sized apples (Granny Smiths are good choices). Into your prepared baking tray, firmly press two cups of the oat mixture, and then arrange your apple slices over the crust in three rows. Coarsely chop a quarter of a cup of walnuts and mix these into your remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle this evenly over the apples and pat firmly into an even layer. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender when you pierce them with a sharp knife. Leave them to cool completely on a wire rack, and then cut them into squares.
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