Health gurus everywhere tell us that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". I remember the very first morning our daughter sat down to her gluten-free breakfast.
It became my mission that her breakfast was not only healthy and filling, but tasted GREAT! Gluten-free breakfast for kids doesn't have to be a challenge! Read on for my top five delicious gluten-free and kid-approved ideas for kids of all ages!
Plain and simple, kids love cereal! It still makes me tear up when I see the cereal commercials with gluten-free kids at the breakfast table. Major brands have really stepped up to the plate in supporting the gluten-free community. In addition to cereal for breakfast, I must admit if I'm running the kids to their 3,471 activities, they just might have cereal for dinner as well.
Depending on your child's palate (or lack thereof like my kids), you'll find a wide range of gluten-free cereals -- from organic and healthy to sugar-filled and fun (who doesn't like rainbows and blue diamonds?!).
Seven out of the eight varieties of Chex cereal are gluten-free (note Wheat Chex is not). Varieties include Rice Chex (also great for including in trail or snack mix for gluten-free lunches), Chocolate Chex, and Apple Cinnamon Chex.
Cheerios is another gluten-free breakfast goldmine! They also were one the first finger foods for my kiddos. Not many made it into their mouths, but luckily our dog served as the clean-up crew. From traditional Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, to Chocolate Cheerios and Fruity Cheerios, there's an O for everyone.
This next cereal is dear to my heart. When our daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, she missed the "fun" cereals. I'll never forget the day that we found out Lucky Charms was now gluten-free. Our daughter actually cried tears of joy. There's nothing like feeling that "normalcy".
If you're looking for organic gluten-free cereal brands, EnviroKidz, Nature's Path, and Erewhon have some awesome kid-friendly options.
2) Yogurt with Fruit or Gluten-Free Granola
I'm amazed at what companies have done with the humble yogurt! They've packaged it in pouches, tubes, containers, and drinks. So whether your gluten-free kid is at the breakfast table or in the car, yogurt is a sure win.
If you're serving up yogurt in a cup, add some mix-ins such as sliced strawberries, bananas or gluten-free granola from Bakery on Main or Bear Naked. Adding your own mix-ins helps cut down on sugar and icky preservatives.
When I was little, my Grandmom used to let me eat pancakes with chocolate chips, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. It's amazing that I didn't get diabetes instead of celiac disease! But I digress...
Pancakes are a blank canvas that your kids can customize -- top them with fresh fruits, maple syrup, or even (gasp) chocolate chips. You can't go wrong with a stack of flap jacks. If you're looking for gluten-free breakfast ideas for toddlers, pancakes are awesome - get creative and they'll gobble them up!
I serve pancakes two ways:
a) Frozen pancakes (aka lazy parent style). Our daughter mixes her morning breakfast routine up with pancakes every so often. These pre-made, packaged, frozen pancakes are a life saver during hectic mornings. Two frozen varieties are Van's Foods and Trader Joe's.
Gluten-Free Kid Breakfast Tip: When making homemade pancakes, make a large batch and freeze some. These can be warmed up for breakfast. I've also used pancakes instead of bread for sandwiches. It's like a gluten-free Uncrustable!
4) Breakfast Bars
Some kids (and adults) need a breakfast that's on the go. Gluten-free breakfast bars are perfect for on the way to school or tucked inside their backpack for the school bus ride. Brands such as KIND, Glutino, and Annie's all have gluten-free breakfast bars.
Gluten-Free Kid Breakfast Tip: I like to keep an extra bar in their lunch bag or book bag at all times.
5) Egg in a Hole
I learned this simple yet fun recipe in 8th grade Home Economics class (yes, they taught those classes in the old days). Both of my kids LOVE this dish!
Here’s how to make this recipe: using the mouth of a glass, press down to cut a circle into a piece of gluten-free bread. Remove the circle. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat. Place the bread along with the circle in the skillet and toast on both sides. Once toasted, crack one egg into the hole of the bread and season with salt & pepper. Cook about two minutes. Flip the egg and toast and the circle of bread. Add more butter if needed. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes depending on if you like your egg runny or more firm. Transfer to a plate and enjoy your Egg in a Hole! You can use the circle part of the bread to dip or just enjoy it with a little jelly.
Do you have a gluten-free child in your life? What are their favorite breakfast foods? Have you struggled with replacing their fav gluten-filled breakfast meal with a gluten-free one? Share in the comments below!