Take-along breakfast ideas

I have a toddler who I need to get to daycare by 7am. It is difficult to get him to eat breakfast this early in the morning. Do you have any suggestions for a good wholesome breakfast that he could take in the car?


It is difficult to eat breakfast when you just wake up. Ideally we would all have the luxury of an hour or so to start our engines, take in some fresh air, then sit down with appetites spiked for a wholesome breakfast. For a toddler, the thought of wolfing down breakfast would only worsen the situation. Below are a variety of bag breakfast ideas, some with recipes to follow at the end, all with a good balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate.

Try some of the following ideas, or others of your own. Even if what your son does end up eating for breakfast is less than ideal from a nutrition standpoint, remember, any breakfast is better than none.

  • Carton of fresh orange juice, mega muffin (recipe follows) and milk
  • Slice of breakfast peanut butter bread (a variety of the bread recipe below), container of fresh fruit slices, such as banana, orange, or apple and milk
  • Whole wheat bagel, spread with cream cheese, sectioned orange and milk
  • Thermos of yogurt fruit smoothie (blend whole milk vanilla yogurt, banana and orange juice) and mega muffin.
  • Peanut butter and banana sandwich on wholegrain bread, C-rich juice
  • String cheese, apple-carrot mega muffin, juice
  • Bag of favorite dried cereal to eat out of hand, container of yogurt or milk and juice

    All of these ideas are very typical American breakfasts. Don't feel constrained by convention however. In other parts of the world children wake up to fish and rice, beans and tortilla, cheese and hard rolls. If your son would prefer a turkey sandwich, or a thermos of last night's spaghetti casserole, then by all means, pack it for him. What is important is that it is nutritious and he'll eat it!

    Mega Muffins:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk or water or soy milk, or juice
  • 1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400. Mix together dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and add wet. Stir until moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tins to 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.


  1. Add 1/2 cup grated apple, 1/2 cup grated carrots, 1 tsp. cinnamon to batter.
  2. Add a mashed ripe banana to batter.
  3. Add favorite diced fruit like peaches, pears, plums, raisins, dates.
  4. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese and reduce honey to 2 tbsp.

Healthy Breakfast Bread
(Make several loaves, slice, freeze, and pull out slices as needed.)

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream the honey and butter. Add eggs and beat 30 seconds. Fold flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with yogurt. Beat only until moist. Stir in one of the mixtures below. Bake in a loaf pan for about one hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.

  1. Banana Bread : Add 1 cup mashed banana and a dash of cinnamon to batter.
  2. Peanut Butter Bread: Add 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter to butter and honey mixture.
  3. Apple Bran Bread: Mix 1 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup bran buds, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  4. Cranberry Spice: Mix 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tbsp. granted orange rind, 1 tsp. cinnamon.

I hope these suggestions get your son off to a great start!

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