This ready-to-eat staple can be incredibly healthy, especially since virtually all major cereal brands are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Choose whole-grain options (an easy way to include much-needed fiber in kids' diets) like Cheerios or shredded wheat, and avoid brands with high sugar content -- sugar (including high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, dextrose, and honey) shouldn't be one of the first few ingredients. Bonus: Kids are far more likely to meet their calcium needs if they drink milk with cereal. Opt for whole milk if your kid is under 2 and low-fat for an older child.
Next-best choice: Peanut butter on a toasted whole-grain bagel combines carbohydrates and protein with a little fat so kids feel fuller for longer.
Picky-eater idea: Breakfast is a must, so get little ones to eat something. Make it fun by letting your child dip a banana (rich in potassium) in flavored yogurt (good source of calcium), then in cereal (for crunch).