Break for Breakfast: Healthy Kids' Choices

Grocery List

Grains

  • Whole wheat English muffins
  • Whole-grain frozen waffles
  • Whole-grain ready-to-eat cereals (such as Cheerios and Wheaties)
  • Regular instant oatmeal
  • Whole-grain bread

Why it should be a staple:

  • Fiber helps keep the digestive system working properly. Kids often fall short of their daily needs (5g + their age in years).
  • B vitamins are important for turning food into energy.

Fruits

  • Fruit cups (packed in juice or water)
  • Applesauce cups
  • Fresh fruit (such as bananas, strawberries, and blueberries)
  • 100% juice (no more than 4 oz. per day)

Why it should be a staple:

  • Vitamin C helps heal wounds.
  • Potassium keeps nerves working properly and fluids in balance.

Dairy

  • Yogurt cups or tubes
  • String cheese
  • Lowfat milk
  • Lowfat American cheese slices

Why it should be a staple:

  • Calcium is crucial for bone development and growth.
  • Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium and is important to immune function.

Protein

  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter

Why it should be a staple:

  • Protein is mandatory for almost every vital body function.
  • Healthy fats are important sources of energy needed for growth.

Vegetables

  • Any that your child will eat (as long as it's not a choking hazard)

Why it should be a staple:

  • Vitamin A is important for vision and immune function.
  • Vitamin K is key for blood clotting.

Shara Aaron, RD, mother of a toddler, is a dietitian living in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, August 2005.

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