Breakfast the SMART Way

Are your mornings rushed? Are your kids starting their day without breakfast? Research confirms that kids who eat breakfast have more energy, learn better, behave better, and are healthier.

When kids eat breakfast they receive key nutrients including calcium, iron and dietary fiber. Plus, a SMART breakfast fuels a child's body, mind and imagination. Follow these five easy tips for fitting a SMART breakfast into your morning grind.

Tips to Eating a SMART Breakfast

  • Simple: A quick and convenient breakfast can be nutritious.
  • Many different foods: Kids need a variety of nutrients. A SMART breakfast does not need to be traditional (eggs, toast, cereal & milk) but can include different food groups.
  • Anytime foods: Always stock your house with the easy, no-need-for-preparation type foods (fruits, veggies, protein bars).
  • Refuel: Breakfast means "break" the "fast". Kids need to refuel after going several hours without food and nutrition. A SMART breakfast provides energy for the brain and fuels the body for learning, growth and play.
  • Teach your kids: You exert a powerful influence on your child's eating habits by determining what food is available, planning meals, and serving as a role model for food choices.

Recipe for Success

Breakfast doesn't have to be complicated and messy. Here are some easy ideas for your morning meal:

  • Peanut butter and banana whole wheat sandwich with low fat milk
  •  Bean and cheese burrito with 100 percent orange Juice--make burritos ahead of time and freeze. For a quick meal, just heat and serve. Add your favorite diced vegetables for variety (shredded carrots, zucchini, diced tomatoes and bell peppers)
  • Fruit pizza and chocolate milk--top a whole grain English muffin with melted cheese and apple slices. Serve with low-fat chocolate milk.
Rainbow Breakfast Mix

  • 5 cups Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal
  • 1 ½ cups small pretzel twists, whole grain goldfish, cheese crackers or multigrain wheat squares
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts*
  • 2 Tablespoons Trans-Free Margarine
  • ½ cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup raisins, dried blueberries or cherries

*not recommended for children under age 3


In medium bowl, combine cereal, pretzels (crackers/cereal). In a medium saucepan heat margarine and peanut butter until margarine is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour over cereal mixture and toss gently until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Spread on waxed paper lined baking sheet. When completely cool, store in airtight container.

Serving Suggestions:
Pack in individual snack bags for quick and convenient breakfast to go. Serve with low-fat milk or yogurt.

Provided by: Stacy Lofton, MS, RD
Nutrition Program Specialist/ Registered Dietitian
Knowledge Learning Corporation


To learn how KinderCare Learning Centers can deliver a true educational advantage for your child, call 1-877-KINDERCARE or visit

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