Now the school holidays are here hopefully that morning rush will be a distant memory – for a few weeks – at least. Forget grabbed bowls of cereal and snatched slices of toast, the lack of school run and shouting teeth – shoes- bag for the 100th time will (hopefully) mean a slower morning pace and some more relaxed family mornings.
For some inspiration we’re sharing 4 fantastic kid friendly breakfast ideas from the new book Vegetarian Food for Healthy Kids by Nicola Graimes which will hopefully has you all rearing to go with the day ahead.
Apple crumble porridge
Perfect comfort food, this warming porridge captures the flavours of a classic apple crumble and is a good way of adding fruit to breakfast. Any leftover porridge can be turned into porridge bars: simply spread out about 1cm/1/2 in thick and leave to cool. Cut the porridge into bars, then fry in a little coconut oil until golden – delicious!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 200g/7oz rolled oats, or a mix of flaked grains including quinoa and buckwheat
- 300ml/10½fl oz almond milk or milk of choice, plus extra to serve
- 2 small apples, with skins, cored and grated
- 1 heaped tsp ground mixed spice, plus extra to serve
- A few spoonfuls of ready-made granola, to serve
1. Put the oats and milk in a saucepan with 900ml/31fl oz/ scant 4 cups water and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
2. Add the apples and mixed spice to the pan, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the oats are cooked and creamy. Stir the porridge continuously with a wooden spoon to stop it sticking to the base of the pan.
3. Spoon the porridge into serving bowls, pour over a little extra milk, if you like, and sprinkle with extra mixed spice and a good spoonful of the granola.
Did you know? A recent study found that youngsters who regularly eat oats are 50 per cent less likely to be overweight. As well as providing filling fibre, wholegrains such as oats contain 25 per cent more protein than refined cereals – a winning combination.
A perfect weekend brunch… although I’ve been known to serve these scrambled-egg-filled tortillas as an after-school snack or even as a weekday meal, made more substantial with a side of refried beans, guacamole and a salad.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 4 large seedy wholegrain tortillas
- 60g/2oz butter
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 4 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp paprika
- 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 60g/2oz Cheddar cheese, grated
Try topping with:
- chopped roasted peanuts
- mashed avocado and herbs
- grated raw courgette
- sundried tomato pesto
- chunks of mozzarella or panfried halloumi cheese
1. Lightly oil a large frying pan and warm over a medium heat. Place two of the tortillas in the pan on top of one another and cook for 2 minutes, turning once, until one side of each tortillas is starting to turn golden. Place them in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining tortillas, putting them in the oven when they’re ready.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the spring onions/scallions and pepper for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute.
3. Beat the spices into the eggs and pour them into the pan containing the vegetable mixture. Turn the heat down to low and cook for about 3 minutes, gently folding and turning the eggs until lightly scrambled.
4. To serve, place each warm tortilla, golden-side down, on a plate, then scatter the cheese over each one and spoon the scrambled egg down the middle. Add additional toppings of your choice, if you like. Roll the tortillas over into a cylinder shape and cut each one in half on the diagonal, then serve.
Did you know? The vibrant yellow spice turmeric doesn’t just add colour to a dish, but provides nutritional value and supports our immune systems, too.
Oat & chia bircher muesli
Breakfast cereals, particularly those aimed at children, are notoriously high in sugar, while healthy alternatives that also taste good can be tricky to find. This may not immediately spring to mind as being child-friendly, but because the muesli is soaked overnight, the oats and chia become lovely and soft and creamy.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus soaking overnight
- 4 large handfuls of rolled oats or quinoa flakes
- 2 tbsp chia seeds, preferably white ones
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 600ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups drinking coconut milk or milk of choice, plus extra to serve
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp ground linseeds/flaxseeds or hemp seeds
- 2 pears
- Favourite fresh fruit or chopped dried fruit (optional)
- Chopped nuts and seeds (optional)
1. Put the oats, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and coconut milk in a mixing bowl and stir to make sure everything is submerged. Cover with a plate and leave to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
2. The following morning, stir in the cinnamon and linseeds/flaxseeds. Leaving the skin on, core and grate the pears and stir them in, then divide the mixture among four serving bowls.
3. Top with extra milk and your favourite fresh or dried fruit as well as chopped nuts and seeds before serving, if you like.
Did you know? The chia seeds really up the nutritional value of this bircher muesli. For their size, chia seeds pack a powerful punch: not only are they a rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, they are also a complete protein and high in fibre. Soaking the seeds before use is said to increase their bioavailability.
This coco-cherry granola is my attempt to lure kids away from those super-sugary, shop-bought cereals. It’s packed with nutritious ingredients and keeps small tummies full up until lunchtime. Feel free to chop and change the mix of nuts, seeds and grains depending on personal favourites. If you don’t have jumbo oats, you can use rolled oats instead.
Makes 10 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 125g/4½oz jumbo oats
- 125g/4½oz quinoa flakes or buckwheat or millet flakes
- 100g/3½oz pecan nuts
- 50g/1¾oz hazelnuts or walnuts
- 100g/3½oz sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 80ml/2½fl oz melted coconut or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 125ml/4fl oz maple syrup or clear honey
- 40g/1¾oz desiccated/dried shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- 100g/3½oz dried cherries, chopped if large
- Thick plain live yogurt, milk and fresh fruit, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Tip the oats, quinoa flakes, nuts, seeds and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
2. Mix together the coconut oil with the vanilla extract and maple syrup. Pour into the bowl containing the oat mixture and stir well until everything is mixed together. Tip the granola mixture into two baking pans, spreading it out into an even layer, then bake for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the pans from the oven and stir in the coconut and unsweetened cocoa powder until well combined. Put the baking pans back in the oven, swapping them round, for another 10 minutes until light golden. Remove from the oven, mix in the cherries and leave to cool and crisp up.
4. Serve the granola with yogurt, milk and your favourite fruit – strawberries or raspberries are a winner. The remaining granola will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Did you know? Not only is cinnamon naturally sweet, studies have found the spice has a regulating effect on blood-sugar levels.