Whether your teen sleeps in until the last possible second or spends hours prepping in the bathroom, there’s not always a lot of extra time in the morning for a nutritious breakfast. Still, it's important to make time for breakfast.
Some studies have linked eating breakfast with better academic results and athletic performance.
Other studies have also shown that children who skip breakfast are more likely to have trouble concentrating in the afternoon and they're more likely to feel fatigued.
This is especially true if they're not receiving adequate nutrition otherwise.
The benefits of eating breakfast go beyond academics, however. A nutrient-rich breakfast gives children the nutrients they need for growth and development.
You can whip up a quick, satisfying breakfast for your teen in 10 minutes or less—even one they can eat on the go. You can also teach your teen how to make their own breakfast, either the morning of or the night before—a skill that will serve them well into adulthood!
1-Minute Breakfast Ideas
- Combine quick-cook, one-minute oatmeal and skim milk. Microwave it for one minute (as the name suggests) in a to-go container. Toss a few frozen berries in it to cool it down and your teen can eat it in the car or, if allowed, on the school bus. You can also stir nut or seed butter in to make it creamier (sunflower seed butter is typically allowed in nut-free schools).
- Pop two frozen whole-grain waffles into the toaster. Once they’re toasted, spread them with nut or seed butter and slice a banana (or their favorite fruit) on top. Now you have a unique version of a peanut butter and banana sandwich that your teen can grab on the go.
5-Minute Breakfast Ideas
- Wraps aren't only for lunch! Make a turkey or roast beef wrap by layering deli roast beef or turkey on a whole-wheat wrap. Top it with thin slices of tomato, a layer of lettuce or spinach, a little bit of mustard, and any of your teen's favorite sandwich toppings. Roll it up, cut it in half, and your teen can eat it while waiting for the bus or walking to school.
- To mix up a breakfast smoothie, load fruit, Greek yogurt, and juice into a blender, immersion blender, or food processor. For a boost of nutrition, add some leafy greens, nut or seed butter, and/or a scoop of protein powder.
- Putting together a breakfast sandwich doesn't take as much time as you think. While an English muffin is toasting, crack an egg into a circular bowl or Tupperware. Put it in the microwave for 60 seconds. This will firm up the egg, which you can then turn over onto the English muffin. Top with a piece of cheese for a breakfast sandwich in minutes.
10-Minute Breakfast Ideas
- Sauté your teen's favorite vegetables, whether mushrooms, onions, or sliced bell peppers, in oil. Scramble in two eggs and serve with whole-grain toast or wrap it all up in a whole grain tortilla.
Advance Prep Breakfast Options
Prepping your ingredients, or even your entire breakfast ahead of time is the easiest way to get a nutritious meal no matter how much time you have in the morning. Get everything ready the night before or on on the weekend and store it in the refrigerator or freezer for an easy grab-and-go meal.
Some options include:
- Boil some eggs, which can be paired with a piece of handheld fruit, such as an apple or banana, for a breakfast on the go.
- If your teen prefers a hot breakfast, set up a breakfast burrito assembly line. Roll up scrambled eggs, peppers, cheese, beans, or breakfast meat (if desired) in a whole-wheat burrito. Wrap it in wax paper and freeze each burrito individually.
- Make a pot of overnight oatmeal by soaking rolled oats in milk in the fridge while you’re sleeping. Scoop it out into single servings and top it with a little bit of milk, dried/fresh/frozen fruit, nuts and seeds, raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup for a splash of sweetness.
If your teen insists they're not hungry in the morning or they say they just don't have time, send them off with something that can be eaten on the go. Even if they can’t eat it before school, they might be hungry for something later in the morning during a break or between classes. Choose a non-perishable item like a bag of trail mix or a sunflower seed and jelly sandwich.