Toddler Breakfasts Made Easy
Written by Gabrielle McPherson, MS, RDN, LDN
Whether you are jetting to daycare drop-off, a playdate, or an adventurous day with your little one, chances are you are very familiar with the busy morning rush…and the challenge of trying to serve your sleepy and squirmy toddler a healthy breakfast. While it sure is tempting to grab a drive-through doughnut or a sugary cereal bar and be on your way, these foods fail to offer your toddler the nutrition and energy they need to have a great day. But do not worry! You can whip up a healthy breakfast at home that—get this—your toddler will love and is quick and easy to pull together. Seriously. Read on for easy-to-make toddler breakfast trios that will make everyone’s morning (and day) better.
Easy Toddler Breakfast: Serving-Size Need-to-Know
Before diving into what to feed your toddler, let’s look at how much. Because toddlers have small tummies, they only need small serving sizes. And giving your child the right portion size can make mealtimes way less overwhelming. Bonus: When served properly-sized helpings, children often feel more comfortable trying new foods. And if they want more, do not worry…they will let you know! Let their tummy be the guide!
Toddler serving sizes
- Meat: 28 g, shredded
- Beans: 3 tablespoons
- Vegetables: 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Fruit: 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Bread: ¼ or 1/2 slice
- Dry cereal: 32 g
- Cooked cereal: 4 tablespoons
- Plain yogurt: 43 g
- Milk: 118 ml
Easy Toddler Breakfast: The Breakfast Trios Rule
A balanced toddler breakfast always consists of three key ingredients: a whole grain, a protein, and a fruit or veggie. When you offer your toddler a breakfast trio, you are doing more than serving up good nutrition…you are helping to shape your child's positive relationship with food. Here is a breakdown of some toddler-friendly options for you:
Toddler-Friendly Whole Grain Options
Look for 100% whole grain on the label to ensure you are offering your child the healthiest grain possible.
- Whole grain toast
- Whole grain pita
- Whole wheat English muffin
- Corn or whole grain tortilla
- Whole grain waffles, French toast, pancakes
- Whole grain cereal
- Oat granola
Toddler-Friendly Protein Options
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Shredded cheese
- Tofu, cubed
- Eggs, scrambled, hard boiled, egg muffins
- Plain yogurt
- Cow’s milk (whole for ages 1-2)
- Unsweetened soy milk
- Nuts, ground
- Nut butter, thinly spread
- Shredded chicken
- Chicken or turkey sausage, crumbled
- Turkey or Canadian bacon, crumbled
Toddler-Friendly Fruit and Veggie Options
There are so many produce choices for toddlers, so shoot for a variety and make sure they are prepared in a way that makes them safe and yummy. Keep these rules in mind:
- Apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, pears: Thinly sliced
- Cherries, grapes, plums: Sliced or smushed, pitted if needed
- Orange or grapefruit sections: Cut into small pieces
- Dried fruit: Cut and pitted, if necessary
- Carrots, green beans: Well-cooked and diced
- Cauliflower, broccoli: Steamed and cut
- Sweet potatoes: Cooked and diced
- Peas: Mashed
- Spinach, greens: Steamed and pureed
Here is more info on food preparation and toddler safety.
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 1: Breakfast Quesadilla
Quesadillas for breakfast? Yes, please! This one offers calcium (shredded cheese), iron (spinach), and plenty of B vitamins (whole grain corn tortilla). To make, layer your ingredients on one side of a halved tortilla, fold, and microwave for 15-30 seconds:
- ½ slice of corn tortilla
- 32 g shredded cheese
- Chopped spinach (1 tablespoon per year of age)
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 2: Fruit Pizza
This sweet breakfast treat is sure to be a crowd favourite. Start with a fiber-rich whole wheat pita and top with protein-packed and tummy-filling cottage cheese that will help keep your child full. Finally, add a medley of chopped berries and peaches for an antioxidant fueled finish.
- ½ slice whole wheat pita
- ⅓ cup of cottage cheese
- ¼ cup of chopped berries and peaches
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 3: Toddlers Pancake Breakfast
Ditch the boxed pancake mix for this easy-peasy recipe: 1 egg, 118 ml milk, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, 3 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 64 g white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour has just as many health benefits as regular whole wheat flour, but it is softer and easier to eat. (This recipe makes eight pancakes. Freeze the extra!) Crown each pancake with a thin spread of nut butter, brimming with healthy fats. Add a side of unsweetened applesauce to boost vitamin C, and your pancake breakfast is complete!
- ½ slice pancake
- 1.5 teaspoons of nut butter (spread thinly to prevent choking)
- 32 g unsweetened applesauce
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 3: Morning parfait
Brighten your child’s morning with this easy-as-can-be breakfast: All you need to do is layer oat granola (healthy whole grains), plain yogurt (protein and calcium), and a mix of orange fruits and veggies (vitamin A and fun colour).
- 32 g of oat granola
- 64 g of plain yogurt
- 16 g chopped mandarin oranges
- Chopped steamed carrots (1 tablespoon per year of age)
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 4: Toddler Trail Mix
Trail mix is not just for snacks! Simply combine a whole grain cereal of your choice, like a puffed rice, Cheerios, Kix, or Rice Chex, with chopped dried fruit, and ground nuts. Use a knife to finely chop your nuts into a powder or pulse with a food processor. (Whole nuts are a choking hazard and not appropriate for children under 4.)
- 32 g of whole grain cereal
- 16 g ground cashews
- 32 g chopped dried cranberries
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 5: Egg-ocado
Lightly toast 100% whole wheat bread and top with mashed avocado—a great brain-booster. (If you child prefers, simply cube avocado on the side.) Serve alongside an iron-rich hard boiled egg. You will know it is fully cooked when the white and yellow parts are both firm.
- ½ slice 100% whole wheat bread, lightly toasted
- ½ hard boiled egg
- 32 g mashed or cubed avocado
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 6: 'English' Breakfast
This open-face breakfast sandwich will surely leave your child smiling. Top a fiber-rich whole wheat English muffin with a schmear of whipped cream cheese (protein and calcium), and follow with a thinly sliced potassium-rich banana. You can even add a drizzle of honey for a gobble-worthy garnish. (Honey is only for children over 1 year old.)
- ½ 100% whole grain English muffin
- 1 tablespoon of whipped plain cream cheese
- ½ banana, sliced thin
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 7: French Toast Plus
Slice 100% whole wheat bread into strips and dredge in a mix of eggs and milk before cooking. (To heat from frozen, microwave for 90 seconds.) Pair sticks with chopped turkey sausage for a bump of protein—and a side of roasted diced sweet potatoes for oodles of vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. Make sweet potatoes ahead of time by dicing and roasting at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- ½ slice whole grain french toast, sliced into sticks
- 1 turkey sausage link, chopped into small pieces
- Diced sweet potato (1 tablespoon for each year of age)
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 8: Veggie Eggy Breakfast
Thanks to the secret ingredient (quinoa!), this veggie egg breakfast is bursting with essential amino acids and fiber. Plus, eggs offer choline, which is great for your toddler’s brain development…and this packed scramble is an excellent vehicle for fiber-, iron-, and vitamin C-rich broccoli! Simple fold the prepared quinoa and broccoli into the scramble.
- 4 Tablespoons of cooked quinoa
- ½ scrambled egg
- Cooked broccoli, finely chopped (1 tablespoon for each year of age)
Easy Toddler Breakfast Idea No. 9: Oat of This World Oatmeal
As nourishing as it is budget-friendly, filling oatmeal is a wonderful source of fiber that is great for your child's heart health. Add some pears for a sweet, fiber, and vitamin C boost. Heat the ingredients together in the microwave for about 90 seconds.
- 4 tablespoons of quick oats
- 118 ml unsweetened soy milk
- Half pear, diced
- Pinch of cinnamon
Craving more toddler food ideas? Try these:
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.