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Baby and Toddler Breakfast Ideas and Recipes
Read time: 4 minutes
What to know about planning breakfast for your child
Understand how to make a balanced breakfast to help meet your child’s nutrient needs
Breakfast recipe and meal ideas for your older baby and toddler
Wondering what to offer your little one for breakfast other than the same basic cereal? Are you out of fresh ideas?
Breakfast tends to be overlooked and rushed, but this meal provides an important opportunity to give your child both the nutrients they need as well as the energy to start their day off right.
Read on for easy, delicious breakfast ideas that may inspire you to change things up in the morning.
Making a balanced breakfast for your child
6 to 12-month-old babies
For babies younger than 1 year, breastmilk or formula provides much of the calories and nutrition needed.8
At first, the introduction of solids around 6 months is mostly to help your little one learn how to eat and to expose them to new textures and flavors.10 It’s also important to provide foods with iron and zinc, which are two nutrients your little one may need a bit more of starting at this age, especially if breastfed.2
As your little one gets older and better at eating, you can begin offering a wider variety of foods at each meal in preparation for their transition to mostly solids around 1 year of age.10 This means your baby’s breakfast may start with just one food at around 6 to 7 months, and slowly progress to multiple food groups as they get closer to 12 months.11
Older babies, tots, and kids
When thinking about any meal, including breakfast, try to offer foods from each group: fruit and/or vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and good-for-you fats.6 Offering a variety of nutritious foods helps your little one meet their nutrient needs during these important years of growth and development.7
You can alter the meal and recipe ideas below to make sure they are the right texture and size for your baby to eat. Traditionally, babies progress from purees to lumpy purees, then advance to soft squishable finger foods after that.12
It may be tempting to add a drizzle of honey to some of these foods as toppings, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies younger than 12 months are not given honey, as this food is a potential source of botulism, a dangerous foodborne illness.3 Honey is safe for children 1 year and older.
Note that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommend avoiding foods and beverages with added sugars for those younger than age 2.4
Not sure what texture foods to feed your baby? Come chat with our team of registered dietitian nutritionists, fellow moms, and lactation specialists, available from Monday – Friday 8 am – 6pm (ET). Chat now!
Baby and Toddler Breakfast Recipes and Ideas
Pancakes and Waffles
Add-in ideas to help increase nutrients and enhance flavors:
Chopped strawberries, blueberries, soft-ripened chopped peaches and pears
Nut butter can be added to batter or a thin layer spread on top
No sugar-added applesauce
Pancake and waffle toppings
Try topping your child’s pancakes with a fruit and vegetable sauce or puree. For example, you can boil apples and pears, add uncooked spinach, water, and then blend. Serve warm or after it has been refrigerated. This type of sauce can be used as an add-on for many of the breakfast ideas listed below, as well.
Pancake and Waffle Recipe Ideas:
Oats can make a delicious and nutritious breakfast for your baby or toddler. Switch things up by using different whole grains in the form of a bowl, overnight grains, or a baby grain muffin that will work for all ages.
Note that iron-fortified oats are recommended for baby ages 6-12 months.2
Different grains to use for your child’s breakfast include:
Use some of the flavoring options and add-ins mentioned above, as well as:
Grated apples and cinnamon
Oat and grain recipe ideas:
Egg-based meals provide a great way to combine different food groups, with recipe ideas such as egg cups, omelet strips, or even avocado toast strips for older babies, toddlers, and kids.
Soft steamed, chopped veggies: broccoli, mushroom pieces, chopped peppers, spinach, cauliflower, sweet potatoes
Egg recipe ideas:
Cottage cheese and ricotta cheese
Use cottage cheese or ricotta cheese as the base of a ‘breakfast bowl’ or spread them thinly atop whole grain toast cut into strips.
Toppings for cottage cheese or ricotta cheese bowls or toast:
Ripe, chopped melon pieces
Ripe, soft, chopped pears and peaches
Roasted chopped tomatoes
Small avocado chunks
Soft scrambled eggs
Thin layer of nut butter spread on top of whole grain toast, then topped with cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
Cottage cheese recipe ideas:
Warm Peach Chunks with Nutmeg (for a topping!)
Yogurt is an excellent food for your baby and child and can be used as a nutrient-packed part of your little one’s breakfast.
Be sure to choose plain, whole milk yogurt for babies and toddlers under the age of 2 years.
Yogurt breakfast ideas:
Yogurt mixed with fresh chopped berries and old-fashioned rolled oats, soaked overnight. Option: add chia seeds and a splash of milk or a plant-based milk alternative.
Mix plain yogurt with chopped soft fruit and freeze in a popsicle mold.
Mix yogurt with nut butter and chopped fruit
Yogurt mixed with mashed sweet potato or pumpkin puree with a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice mix
Blended in a smoothie with fruit, nut butter, and even veggies such as baby spinach or kale
If your child needs a bit more, serve these ideas with a side of whole-grain toast with a thin layer of peanut butter or avocado.
A note about Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker than regular yogurt since the liquid is strained out, which also makes it higher in protein. In fact, a 7-ounce container may contain up to 18 grams of protein.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for babies ages 6-12 months for protein is about 11 grams per day.45 Most babies at this age will get the protein they require from breastmilk or formula, along with some solid foods throughout the day.
Since extra protein is not necessary for babies, it’s important to be aware of how Greek yogurt plays a role in your child’s overall diet and meals. Having it as just a part of a meal and mixing it with other foods (such as fruit or oats, or mixed into a baked good) are ways to help provide an appropriate amount of protein at meals and snacks without going overboard.
Yogurt recipe ideas:
There are so many options to feed your little ones nutritious and tasty breakfast meals. Make sure the texture is appropriate for your little one and avoid adding salt or sugar!
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.
Our Happy Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitian nutritionists certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too! They’re here to offer personalized support on our free, one-on-one, live chat platform Monday - Friday 8am-6pm (ET). No appointment needed, no email or sign-up required. Chat Now!
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