4 Ways to Add Some Fun to Healthy Breakfast
By Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., January 23, 2017 - 9:20am
For kids and adults alike, the same old breakfast can start to feel a little boring.
But without giving in to artificially-dyed rainbow bagels or some sort of breakfast "for one" that has three types of carbs and breakfast meats (you know the ones I'm talking about) how can you punch up your morning meal while still keeping it healthy?
Start with the basic building block of a healthy breakfast: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein. And then put a fun little spin on them. Here are 4 ideas to make your healthy breakfasts a little more enticing.
Make Your Smoothie Even More Colorful
Depending on the fruit you add to your smoothie you can whip up a deep purple, bright red, orange, green, yellow or pale pink smoothie (see our rainbow-hued smoothies recipes). Make a few different colors and pour a little of each into glasses so you end up with a rainbow treat (with no artificial colors). You can even add fruit kebab skewers to make your breakfast drink feel even more special.
Use Cookie Cutters
These handy kitchen tools aren't just for holiday cookies. You can use them as an outline for pancake batter and turn your pancakes into hearts, stars or characters. Or cut your whole-grain toast into fun shapes to make kids more excited about digging in like in our Chicks & Bunnies (Soft-Boiled Eggs & Soldiers). You can also use them to cut out shapes out of fruit to top your smoothie bowl (try kiwi, apple or pineapple).
As a registered dietitian, I wouldn't recommend adding chocolate to breakfast every day. But every once in awhile—I can get on board with a little chocolate at breakfast. One tablespoon of chocolate-hazelnut spread with bananas on top of oatmeal makes oats feel a little more luxurious in our Chocolate Banana Oatmeal. Stir mini chocolate chips into homemade whole-grain pancake batter or add some cocoa to your smoothie for a milkshake taste with smoothie nutrition.
Turn Plain Yogurt Into a DIY Bar with Toppings
Plain yogurt on its own doesn't have much on squeezable yogurt tubes. But a DIY parfait bar with yummy, colorful and healthy toppings help bring some excitement to yogurt breakfasts. Start with plain yogurt (stir in a little bit of honey or maple syrup to sweeten it rather than buying vanilla or fruity yogurt which can have lots of added sugar). Set out sliced fresh fruit, even thawed frozen berries work here. And then get creative with add-ins. Nuts, like pecans, slivered almonds or walnuts add crunch and some fiber. Chia seeds and flax seeds deliver omega-3s. To make your parfait a little more decadent set out granola, a crumbled homemade oat cookie (these Oatmeal-Peanut Butter Cookies with Dates have only 4 grams of added sugar) or a whole-grain store bought cookie, like Belvita Golden Oat Crunchy Biscuit. The key is to load up with fruit and yogurt and add just a little bit of crumbled cookie.
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