Breakfast for kids: I really wish it was a simpler topic, to be honest! Breakfast is an absolute rollercoaster in my house at the moment, with kids not eating and then wanting to eat as soon as we get in the car. A good friend messaged me the other day, asking what to feed her kids for breakfast. She was looking for ways to try and keep them calm before school. She was asking how to limit sugar in breakfast, which is a great first step. So, does what kids eat affect their behaviour? Yes, it does. Exactly like it does for us as adults.

Protein, Fat and Fibre

Ideally, there are three elements we want in a kid’s breakfast, and to be honest, all of their meals. The three elements are protein, fibre, and healthy fat. The reason we want all of these three elements is that all of these things combined will slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream and maintain a steady level of energy. Instead of just having those starchy carbohydrates, which is like a simple piece of toast, that digests really quickly and releases large amounts of glucose into the bloodstream very quickly and leads to a high surge of energy, which is similar to the sugar high that we talk about after kids have something like lollies. Then it’ll come down low quite quickly and then they can get a bit cranky. So we really want to slow the release of that glucose into the bloodstream as much as we can for that steady release of energy. 

Now with kids, this gets really tricky because although with adults, we know we want to have those three elements in a meal, we can’t make kids eat all those things. We really want to look at breakfast where we can mix all these elements together, or at least offer them all the three elements and hope that they might eat two out of the three, which is still going to be better than just that simple piece of toast.


The first one is something like porridge. Porridge is actually quite a good one if you’re buying just the standard rolled oats. They do have a high carbohydrate content, but they do have a lot of fiber in them as well. But we want to also add some other things to them if we can. We want to add a healthy fat and that might be some chia seeds, that might be some nut butter, or that might be some yogurt on top. Avoid giving them plain porridge on its own doused in honey or sugar, but with those other additions, it’s a really good option. 


Smoothies work really well because we can kind of mix all those three elements together. Again, chia seeds and nut butters work really well as the healthy fat, some yogurt or some hemp seeds work well for some protein and most of your fruits will work well for the fiber component. Extra points for low GI fruits like berries over something like a stone fruit, which is like a mango. Smoothies are actually a great way to hide veggies for some extra fiber too. Baby spinach and zucchini work really well in smoothies leaving no funny taste or texture behind. If you do want to, depending on the age of your kids, you can also use a kid-friendly protein powder to get some extra protein in there as well, but it’s not necessary. 


Another good breakfast for kids is a Greek style yogurt, which has a bit of healthy fat and protein in it. And then you can add some fruit to that, or you can add a small amount of muesli to that as well. One of the quickest options!


Toast is great but using a piece of whole grain toast, which has more fiber and more protein in it. And then something like a nut butter on top, like a peanut butter. You could also then add some sliced bananas to the top of that and get a little bit fancy and sprinkle some seeds or some cinnamon on top. 


If your kids like eggs, eggs are another great breakfast for kids. You can do something like scrambled eggs on toast if you have time or you can make them an omelette. Egg muffins are a real winner with kids because we can get quite creative with those. They’re a great on-the-go breakfast if you’re jumping into the car or you’re running late. They’ll also work really well to add a bit of protein into lunch boxes. 

To summarise, we want to try and get some protein, some fiber and a healthy fat into your kid’s breakfast where we can. If we offer them all three, we might get two out of three, which is a win. If you don’t get all three and you’re getting two out of the three, you’re still doing a great job of helping them maintain a steady level of energy instead of just that plain piece of toast.

As parents, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves with what our kids eat. It’s our job just to provide the right food at the right times for the kids, and we really need to step back and let them choose what to eat.


Jade Harman, Clinical Nutritionist
BHSc (Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine)

Jade is a clinical Nutritionist, podcast host, writer and speaker who works with women seeking a sustainable and positive approach to weight loss, and parent’s who are dealing with young kids and fussy eaters.

Jade’s approach as a Nutritionist is very simple, structured, and considered and her love of nutrition is balanced with a strong sense of caution around ‘wellness’ industries. That’s why all of the advice Jade provides is backed by peer-reviewed knowledge.

She sees clients 1:1 but her work expands into online courses, group coaching, events and workshops. It’s no secret that Jade doesn’t love social media, so you can find her at