Top 3 Things to Know About Breakfast From a Kid Nutritionist

Dr. Taylor Arnold shares why breakfast is so important and how to use it to your advantage.

If you’re anything like me, your kids are your alarm clock. And immediately upon waking, they’re ready to eat. We do quiet time in our house for 30 minutes in the morning so I can get ready, but come 6:30… it’s BREAKFAST TIME.

If you’re a parent, you KNOW how hard the mornings are, especially when it comes to breakfast.  It’s difficult to know what to feed our kids that will meet their nutrient needs and keep their bellies full, it’s easy to get into a food rut, everything feels rushed our kids are navigating two big transitions (wake up and leaving the house) in a short period of time….need I go on? 

When I found out Little Spoon had breakfast options that are packed with healthy proteins and fats and are actually clean, I was beside myself. Little Spoon has been an amazing addition to our family’s breakfast lineup. Their ready to heat-and-eat meals are the easiest way to jumpstart your morning without compromise. 

Without further adieu, here are my top tips for navigating breakfast with your kiddos:

1. Protein is important. But don’t forget the fat!  

I often see parents place an excessive amount of focus on their child’s protein intake. But the nutrient we really SHOULD be focusing on at breakfast time is FAT. Of course, protein and carbohydrates (including fiber) are also important, but carbohydrates are typically fulfilled with common breakfast items such as fruit and whole grains.

A young child’s protein needs are not as high as many parents think. As a proportion of total food intake, fat needs are the highest in infancy and toddlerhood compared to any other point in our lives. This is because of the rapid brain and eye growth and development that occurs during this time period. Not only does adding fat to breakfast help keep those tiny bellies full, it also supports that rapid brain growth for your little smarty pants. 

Little Spoon really understood the assignment when it comes to incorporating healthy fats into toddler meals. Their Classic Breakfast Plate features cage-free eggs, breakfast sausage, and carrot sweet potato hash browns…Check, check, check! Plus, their Mini Classic Eggs and Sausage Biteable features many of these same ingredients, just cut-to-size for your transitioning eater. I LOVE that these meals are so balanced and not only feature these important proteins and carbs but also incorporate healthy fats to promote your kiddo’s development. 

2. Veggies are a breakfast food.

Let’s all just collectively agree to ditch the idea that certain foods aren’t breakfast foods, this includes vegetables! Offering at least one veggie option at breakfast is a simple strategy to regularly expose kids to vegetables and will also normalize including veggies at breakfast so your kids can be grown-up vegetables-at-breakfast people.  

In our house, Little Spoon’s kids meals are my go-to because they feature veggies seamlessly in all of their meals! Their Pesto Eggs Biteable includes parmesan kale pesto + butternut squash and their Blueberry Purple Carrot Oatballs feature (surprise!) purple carrots alongside delicious cinnamon swirled apples. 

3. Breakfast is your best friend if you have a picky eater.

Wondering why? I’ve got three reasons for you:

  1. Traditional breakfast foods are common safe foods. A meal that has lots of safe foods is a great meal to introduce new foods. Safe foods on the plate help your child feel comfortable exploring new foods. Little Spoon’s Mini Pancake Puffs with hidden veggie maple sausage and sweet potatoes are a slam dunk for this!
  2. At breakfast time, your kid is not navigating the overstimulation of the day. At dinner your child may be thinking through school events, processing emotional hurdles of the day, tired from sports practice, or just have a full sensory cup in need of a reset. At breakfast, this is all less likely to be the case. Place a Little Spoon Classic Breakfast Plate in front of them and they will be able to focus and engage with the yummy flavors and textures.  
  3. Breakfast is a great time to introduce the autonomy of basic cooking tasks like using the microwave or toaster, making scrambled eggs, washing fruit, pouring milk, setting the table, or chopping breakfast vegetables. Even toddlers can exercise this autonomy by choosing between two meal choices…Offer them the option between Pesto Eggs or Mini Classic Eggs and Sausage BIteables and see which they are more likely to choose!

Little Spoon’s new breakfast meals help your kids start on the sunny side by incorporating fat into breakfast, including veggies in breakfast food (HELLO beta-carotene 🤩), and are a great way to give your kids autonomy at breakfast. A win-win-win.

Wishing you easy mornings, fabulous breakfast times, and a wonderful summer,

Dr. Taylor


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