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Make Breakfast for Dinner... and Blow Their Tiny Minds

Photo by Helen Rushbrook / Stocksy United
Photo by Helen Rushbrook / Stocksy United

By Anna Sachse

A few months ago, we were post out-of-town guests and deep in a busy work week, which meant I could hear my voice echoing in our refrigerator. We did, however, have half a pint of buttermilk and some eggs—so we decided to have breakfast for dinner.

My four-year-old’s mind was blown. Her two-year-old sister just ran in circles, squealing “Cakes! Yayayayay!”

Breakfast-for-dinner is now part of our regular meal rotation. Serving up morning-meal cuisine in the p.m. has a lot of plusses: The ingredients are typically inexpensive, on-hand, and can be lighter (which is good news for you, too, parents), easily combining whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and fruit and/or veggies. And because these foods are generally easy to prepare, letting your children pour, sprinkle, and mix the ingredients is a great way to spend some fun-and-educational evening time together.

Munch whatever supper-brunch suits your family’s fancy, or check out some of our favorites:

  • My family eats these fluffy, delicious buttermilk pancakes from the Food Network’s Alton Brown every weekend. Amp up the nutrition by substituting whole wheat flour, topping them with peanut butter and fresh fruit, or serve alongside scrambled eggs.
  • Fill an omelet or make a scramble with cheese and whatever vegetables your kids are fond of. Pair with berries and whole-wheat toast. Feeling creative? Try these kid-friendly mini frittatas from Cooking Light—we recommend using uncured turkey bacon.
  • Dine on hearty oatmeal: Simmer rolled or steel-cut oats and a little ground flaxseed with chopped apple, canned pumpkin puree, or raisins and shredded carrots, plus cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla. Top with fresh fruit, a dollop of almond butter, chopped nuts and seeds if your child is four or older, toasted flake coconut, or fresh fruit.
  • Just so totally over oatmeal? Try protein- and fiber-packed breakfast quinoa, like this simple, hot blueberry version from Martha Stewart.
  • Fill whole-wheat tortillas with scrambled eggs, cheese, black or pinto beans, and fresh veggies for a super-speedy breakfast burrito or quesadilla. Serve with avocado slices, mild salsa, and a little plain Greek yogurt.
  • Make a healthy hash! This Cooking Light recipe uses sweet potatoes and Canadian bacon, but you can experiment with regular potatoes as well as various veggies and spices, ground turkey, crumbled tofu, and beans. Plop on an egg if you wish.
  • Kids love assembling their own eats, so lay out a spread of breakfast sandwich options and let them have at it: whole wheat English muffins or bagels, scrambled eggs, cream cheese or slices of cheddar, Canadian bacon or roasted turkey breast, and sliced cucumber, tomato, apple, and pear—or try a swipe of homemade jam for a salty-sweet delight. Add a big bowl of fruit salad and you’re all set.
  • Breakfast pizza! Crust, cheese, eggs, other toppings—you really can’t go wrong. BuzzFeed compiled 18 tantalizing versions if you want some inspiration, and stop by a local bakery or fine grocer for ready-to-go dough.
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