1. Prepare your favorite pancake batter. Pour half into a bowl; tint with your choice of food coloring (we used McCormick Neon! colors). Transfer batter to a squeeze bottle.
2. Tint the remaining batter with another color and place it in a second squeeze bottle.
3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat (a lower temperature will help keep the pancakes from browning too quickly). Lightly coat the skillet with butter. To make a pancake, draw an X and an O with one colored batter, then quickly outline the letters with the second colored batter.
4. Continue to add more batter in circles until the pancake is the desired size. Cook until set on the underside and bubbling around the edges, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until done, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.
Your child’s breakfast dreams will come true: Stir a couple of drops of dye-free pink food coloring into ¼ cup ricotta cheese. Spread on whole-wheat toast. Top with all-natural sprinkles.
It’s the most popular kids’ pick on the breakfast menu at the restaurant chain Rush Bowls. Combine ¾ cup milk, ½ cup each frozen bananas and strawberries, and 2 Tbs. peanut butter. Blend until thick; top with jelly and fruit.
This Middle-Eastern egg dish is trending for brunches. Cookbook author Dina Cheney makes a quick version: In a deep 10-in. skillet, simmer 2 cups marinara sauce with a pinch each of cumin and coriander over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Crack in 4 eggs, cover, and cook over low heat until the whites are opaque and the yolks are still molten, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with toasted pita and top with cilantro.
Chips for breakfast? Okay! “Whole-grain baked tortilla chips are similar nutritionally to whole-wheat toast,” says Jill Castle, R.D., coauthor of Fearless Feeding: How to Raise Healthy Eaters From High Chair to High School. Layer a plate with bake d tortilla chips. Top with a scrambled egg, guacamole, salsa, and cheddar cheese.
Perk up your go-to breakfast. In a 12-oz. mug, mix 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/2 cup milk, 6 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce, 2 Tbs. apple juice, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and cinnamon. Microwave covered on high for 2 minutes, says Cheney, author of Mug Meals. Top with diced apples and more cinnamon.
Place 1 tsp. each butter and brown sugar in 24 mini muffin cups. Bake at 375°F for 5 minutes. Whisk 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. salt. In another bowl, whisk 1/3 cup canola or corn oil, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix wet ingredients into dry ones. When butter mixture has cooled a bit, place a thin banana slice in each muffin cup; fill with batter. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
Kids at Clayton Early Learning, in Denver, love it: Place ½ cup steel-cut oats in a bowl. Add 1 cup milk, ¼ cup canned pumpkin-pie puree, 1 Tbs. maple syrup, 1 tsp. pumpkinpie spice, and ¼ tsp. vanilla. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Heat if desired; add toppings.
Bake it on Sunday and eat it through Wednesday, says Lauren Harris-Pincus, R.D.N., author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. In a bowl, mix 2 cups oats, 2 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. each baking powder and cinnamon, and ½ tsp. salt. In another bowl, mix ½ cup milk, ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 egg, 1 ripe banana, mashed, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Add dry mixture to wet one; pour into a greased 9” round pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350°F. Top with roasted fruit.
“It’s okay for kids to have a little chocolate in this dish since it’s full of nutrients from the banana and avocado,” says Laura Keogh, coauthor of the School-Year Survival Cookbook. In a blender, combine 2 avocados, 1 banana, 3 Tbs. cocoa powder, ¼ cup chia seeds, 2 Tbs. maple syrup, and a pinch each of salt and cinnamon until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Makes two servings. Garnish with fruit.
Everything is more fun in a mini ice-cream cone. Divide ½ cup of your child’s favorite Greek yogurt among three cones and freeze overnight, if desired. Thaw for a few moments in the morning and top with berries or cherries, suggests Maya Henry, founder of the family meal-planning service Meals With Maya.
“My kids never wanted the same thing for breakfast and I started to feel like a short-order cook,” says Alison Cayne, author of The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School. Her solution: putting an assortment of yogurt, fruit, nuts, and granola on the table and letting her kids make their own breakfast parfaits. “They got exactly what they wanted and I got an extra 10 minutes in the morning,” she says.
A perfect activity for breakfast after a sleepover: Make pancakes. Encourage kids to spread on cream cheese, jam, shredded coconut, and fruit.
Author Tracey Hecht’s 8-year-old son makes these treats for breakfast: In a small bowl, stir together an egg, 2 Tbs. oats, a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of baking soda, a dash of vanilla, a handful of raisins, and enough flour to make it resemble the consistency of cookie dough. Plop on a sheet in the toaster oven at 300°F for 5 minutes, or until set. Top with jam.
Cut 3½-in. rounds from whole-grain tortillas. Press into greased muffin cups; bake at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can make the cups ahead and store them for up to two days.) Fill with scrambled eggs. Top with tomatoes.
Halve an avocado; scoop out 2 Tbs. flesh from the center (use to spread on toast) and remove pit. Crack an egg inside each half and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.
Place pepper rings or squash in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Coat with nonstick cooking spray and crack an egg inside. Cover pan, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until fully set.
Coat muffin cups with cooking spray. Place two pieces of cooked bacon (regular or Canadian) inside, so they overlap a bit. Crack an egg in each cup. Bake 15 minutes at 350°F.