Budget-Friendly and Quick-to-Make Healthy Breakfasts for Kids

When preparing breakfast for my kids, I have three criteria: It shouldn’t cost a lot. It shouldn’t take me a long time to prepare. And it has to be healthy. It’s important to me that my kids start the morning off right and filling them up with something healthy helps them stay focused at school. It’s not really that challenging to get a decent breakfast on the table each morning – Here are 13 ideas for penny-pinching, quick and healthy breakfasts for kids!

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

Well-Balanced and Easy Healthy Breakfasts for Kids

I was shocked to hear from my older children how many of their peers skip breakfast. And then I remembered my own childhood – I do remember my mom making me pancakes for breakfast when I was in elementary school but once I hit junior high (and she was at work in the mornings), my brother and I were on our own. We often resorted to grab-and-go sugary breakfast pastries or a snack bag of dry cereal to eat in the car on the way to school! Yeah, not exactly healthy and after a hour or so at school, my stomach was burning with hunger. That sure made it hard to focus on my studies.

After going through a weight loss program that taught me how to keep my blood sugar levels steady I’ve learned the enormous benefits of a well-balanced meal. Without the proper balance of carbohydrates, fats, protein and fiber your meal will “burn off” quickly causing you to be hungry much quicker.

Kids need to have a decent breakfast so they can best concentrate at school. Serving a healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. My tweens are able to prepare many of these themselves, though for the sake of speed I tend to put breakfast together quickly for everyone in the morning.

Prepare the Night Before

I totally understand the morning time crunch of getting kids out the door on time. I have 4 kids and my eldest starts school at 7:45 am. I wake the kids 1 hour before we have to be out the door. This allows them time to get dressed, make their beds, sit at the breakfast table for a meal, brush teeth & hair and get in the car.

 

The kids do all their prepping the evening before, including making sure their school tablets are charged, their homework is in the backpack, their outfit is chosen and their shoes are ready to put on. There are no morning scrambles to find any missing items because they’ve prepped for their school day the night before (PS. None of my kids have ever been late to school).

Read more about how I streamline the morning routine here!

There are some breakfasts that can be prepared the night before. Round out the carbs in the morning with cut fruit and a glass of milk (we drink both cow and almond milk at home). Kids can just grab a few ready-made items and start eating.

For baked goods I like using whole wheat flour instead of white. I like Wheat Montana brand Prairie Gold, which I buy at Target. It’s not pricey and it has a smooth taste and texture so I easily sub it in for white flour in all my baked goods.

Whole Wheat Baked Doughnuts – Baked doughnuts are easy to make and if you sub in whole wheat flour they’re an even healthier option. I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and dipped the doughnuts in just for a special treat.

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

They look decadent but they’re really baked from whole grains!

Yogurt Parfaits – Into glasses or custard dishes, layer plain or vanilla flavored yogurt with cut fruit or berries, dry oats and chia seeds.

Fruit Salad – Chop up all those ripe and ready fruits into a colorful fruit salad that can chill overnight in the fridge.

Muffins – Use healthier ingredients like whole wheat flour, applesauce/mashed bananas/honey instead of white sugar and include chopped fruits, nuts and grains.

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

Muffins that include fruit bits means you can use less sugar when baking

Budget-Friendly Foods

I have two teens, a preschooler and a toddler. When they want scrambled eggs, I cringe a bit, knowing that I’ll be using half the carton and eggs aren’t cheap. I want my kids to eat a healthy wholesome breakfast but they don’t need to eat a full plate of eggs. Instead I’ll give them a smaller amount of eggs, topped with cheese and salsa and served with beans and a whole wheat tortilla. Or try these ideas:

Omelettes with leftovers – Have some leftover veggies from dinner the night before? Don’t let them go to waste – Fold them into the center of an omelette and sprinkle with a bit of cheese. Sauteed mushrooms, squash or steamed broccoli are favorites of my kids.

Oatmeal – Can’t get more basic for breakfast than a warm, bubbling pot of hearty oats! So cheap and you can dress it up nicely. I love chopped apple, lots of cinnamon, walnuts and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Whole Wheat Pancakes – Pancakes are super simple to make from scratch and truly only take a few ingredients. Use whole wheat and toss some blueberries into the batter. Or top them with chopped bananas and walnuts (my favorite way to eat them!) A drizzle of pure maple syrup tops them off.

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

Egg Sandwich – One egg per kid is all you need. Make it fried, sunny-side up or scrambled and place it on a toasted English muffin half or a bagel. Layer a slice of cheese and some spinach leaves and this is a filling breakfast that is way healthier than the fast-food variety (and takes less time than going through the drive-thru!)

Smoothies –When your fresh fruits and greens start to turn, chop them up and freeze them for use later in a smoothie. Just lay them out on a parchment covered cookie sheet and place into the freezer. Then take the frozen pieces and transfer them into zip close bags. Frozen pineapple or berries, a huge handful of frozen kale or spinach, almond milk and a dollop of Greek yogurt is a favorite to sip in the morning (and I promise, you won’t even taste the greens!)

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

You can’t even see or taste the greens in this smoothie when you use dark berries to conceal the color!

Total Time-Crunch

Need to get out the door but the kids haven’t eaten yet. Toss these winning breakfasts together and they’ll be ready to eat within minutes.

Cold cereal with berries – Pre-boxed cereals don’t have to contain a boatload of sugar. Tossing in fresh berries will help sweeten them up. Check out this list of best and worst boxed cereals at 100 Days of Real Food. The book 100 Days of Real Food is a wonderful guide to eating more wholesome foods.

Frozen Premade Whole Wheat Waffles – Use a lazy weekend day to prep breakfast for the week. By making your own whole wheat waffles you can control the ingredients and they’ll be just as convenient to pop into the toaster as the prepackaged variety. Sometimes I “make it fun” with a topping of whipped cream.

Sprouted Grain Toast with Peanut Butter, Banana and Chia Seeds – Sprouted grain bread tastes wonderful after it’s been toasted and when you top it with peanut butter (no sugar variety, just nuts/salt/oil), banana slices and a sprinkling of chia seeds, it’s almost like dessert! My husband takes this one step further and drizzles his slice with honey!

Greek Yogurt with Toppings –  Another quickie to toss together with ready-to-go toppings! I like chopped banana, walnuts, a bit of agave and I’ve even been known to toss on a few dark chocolate chips

You want healthy breakfasts for kids but they have to be quick and cheap! Check out these 13 healthy breakfasts for kids (that you'll want to eat too!)

Greek yogurt with toppings (even dark chocolate chips!)

What are your favorite healthy kid’s breakfasts? Share an idea in the comments!

10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy - 10 money-saving tips including recipes

Grocery shopping doesn’t have to bust your wallet. You can still eat healthy and save money on groceries. Some will tell you that you’ll need to use coupons to save cash (not true!) Or the hype that tells you organic and healthy foods are so much more expensive. That’s certainly not true either! With 6 to feed in my family and only one full-time income, these are tried and tested money-saving tips. Here are my 10 practical ways we save money on our groceries.

Save Money on Groceries (and Still Eat Healthy!)

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and purchasing through the link helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Don’t Use Coupons (with One Exception)

I used to spend hours each week clipping coupons from the newspaper mailers and driving around to several different stores to redeem. So much work! Sure there were some times where I’d get a great deal (25 cent tube of toothpaste! 75 cent box of cereal!) however those really great deals weren’t the norm. Most of the time I was purchasing things I didn’t need just because I had a coupon.

I remember looking in my storage cabinet and bemoaning that I didn’t have any more space because it was already stuffed full of about 5 years worth of deodorant, mouthwash, hair conditioner and macaroni and cheese!  And my kids didn’t need to be eating all that sugary cereal, whether I got it on sale or paid full price.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Here’s my one exception to using coupons: If you flip through the mailer and see something there that you already use and plan on purchasing in the near future, then by all means clip and use the coupon.

If you can save 50 cents off your favorite brand of pasta then yes, you should definitely use the coupon. But if you find that you’re making purchasing just because you have the coupon, it’s time to step away from the mailers.

Make a Price List

It can be hard to remember which store has the best prices on the top 20 things you purchase each visit so I recommend creating a price list. Jot down the price on your list next time you’re at the store so you’ll know which store has the best price on bananas, peanut butter and milk, etc.

Our local Sprouts has the best prices on fruits, veggies and dry bulk bin items but prices for dairy and cereal are considerably higher. Keep track so you’ll know where to shop for certain items and aren’t spending more than you have to.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread

Don’t Shop at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores notoriously mark up the price of certain “convenience” items that you might pick up when you’re there grabbing fruit and veggies. Items in the health and beauty department are usually at a higher price than somewhere like Target or Walmart.

But I’ve found that other items can have a higher cost at the grocery as well. Things like canned tomatoes, pasta and cereal are often found cheaper at Target. You might find that your options are limited at the “big box” stores but that might not matter if you always purchase the same brand.

Shopping Apps

Certain grocery stores have special shopping apps that you can pull up on your smart phone before checkout to save you a few bucks. I personally use Cartwheel when at Target, Shopkick at many locations in my area (just open the app at the front door), and Ebates when I’m shopping online. I’ve received gift cards and cash just by using these apps and it doesn’t take me more than a minute or two.

And of course, if I’m shopping at Target I use my Target Red Card (debit) to save me 5% off my total purchases!

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Buy in Bulk

Yep, we’re Costco shoppers and buying in bulk is definitely one way we save money on groceries for our big family. But don’t load up that enormous shopping cart just yet. You’ll need to make sure you can get through that 5 lb bag of mixed greens before it goes bad! And do you really need a giant tub of coconut oil? Knowing how much your family can eat and balancing that with the product’s expiration date is a must-do before bulk buying.

   

Dry goods in bulk bins that you scoop and weigh yourself can give you a great deal. Just be sure to compare the weight per pound of the bulk bin versus purchasing the item prepackaged. A 1 lb bag of beans may run me about $1.25 but only 75 cents a pound if I scoop it from the dry goods bin. Consider purchasing your own oats, flour, sugars, beans, lentils and nuts from the bulk bins and storing them in your own containers at home.

Price Per Ounce

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the price per ounce listed on the shelf label and noticed that it’s actually more cost effective to buy the product in a small size. See, groceries often “trick” you into thinking the bulk size is more economical! So be sure to check out the price per ounce (or pound, or whatever) to make sure it’s really the best bargain.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Hidden Tip: Foods like pizza are cheap and easier than you think to make at home. Skip the frozen box pizza and make a quick dough, smear with pasta sauce and top with a few slices of mozzarella. For just over $1.00, I made this pizza for lunch in about 15 minutes! What other foods are you buying that you could be making yourself for pennies on the dollar?

Go Shopping More Often

What was the last item you had in the fridge that went bad before you had the chance to eat it? You might be purchasing too much upfront and then it spoils before you can cook it. Certain foods move quickly through my house, like onions, bananas, garlic and apples so I can purchase them in large quantities. But we can never seem to eat enough of the giant bag of spinach before it starts to smell funny.

Rather than bulk buying some items, we purchase smaller amounts and shop more frequently. We might spend a bit more on our greens upfront but if we aren’t tossing out half the package when they’re slimy, then we’re probably making out better on the cost in the end.

Pricing Organic VS Non-Organic

If you usually avoid organic foods as a rule because you believe they are more costly, take a look again because that’s not necessarily so. Yes, for sure there are some products that are more costly than others because they are organic but not always. At our local Sprouts, many of the organic fresh veggies are cheaper in cost than their non-organic versions! Some canned goods (like beans and tomatoes) are similarly priced organic versus non-organic.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

Isn’t that a gorgeous loaf? Bake your own artisan bread with the book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. The beauty of making it yourself is that you know what ingredients you’re adding!

Shop the Outside Aisles

Visualize your grocery store. Generally stores are designed with produce, meats, grains and dairy on the outside aisles and canned and processed foods in the middle. Gone are the days when I purchased pre-seasoned rice and pasta mixes. Commercials will have you think that you’re saving time and money buying these types of products but it’s really not that much more time-consuming and definitely not more expensive to cook your own rice and add your own seasonings.

By avoiding processed foods, you’ll not only save yourself money but save your health from excessive preservatives, sodium and unpronounceable ingredients. Think about the foods you’ve been purchasing in the middle aisles of the grocery and how you could prepare them yourself instead.

Avoid Boxes & Bags

I’m working towards feeding my family more “real food”. By following Lisa Leakes’ book 100 Days of Real Food. I’m aiming to choose foods that have 5 or less of the “approved” ingredients. That means a lot of items that come in boxes and bags are off-limits. Avoiding foods that come packaged in boxes and bags (unless they follow the 5 approved ingredients or less) will save you money and help your health as well.

Practical Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Still Eat Healthy

What are the ways YOU save money on groceries? I’d love to hear your tips…share them in the comments!

Julie-signature

Hearty Bean and Lentil Soup Recipe

Let’s be honest. Lentils don’t make for the prettiest soup. They often look dark and unappetizing, making most kids turn up their noses at dinner. This lentil and bean soup is something different entirely though because it not only tastes delicious, it’s also lovely to look at and appealing for everyone. I hope that you’ll enjoy my hearty lentil and bean soup recipe!

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

Never Cooked with Lentils?

We aim to eat 2-3 meatless meals during the week for our health and digestion (lots of fiber in this bowl!) We also try and choose organic when we can. This is a deliciously hearty cold-weather meal that can be served with a slice of buttered bread, roll or a warm tortilla.

I’ll be totally honest: I never cooked with dried beans until just a few years ago. I thought they were time consuming and that I wouldn’t make them correctly. And I never really liked the flavor either.

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

I didn’t make beans because I didn’t think the kids would eat them. However all of my kids have grown to love beans, and so have I! If you use great ingredients, the flavors just come together. My preschooler says he doesn’t like soup so I just serve him the beans and the veggies on a plate, sans broth and he gobbles it up (silly boy!)

My local store sells these lentils and beans in a dry goods blend. For around $1.50 a pound, you’ll get a great mix of lentils and dry beans. If your store doesn’t sell this type of mix, you can easily put one together yourself with a colorful mix of lentils and some dry beans.

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

Sometimes I use the beautiful organic rainbow carrots for an even more colorful bowl of soup! The dark specks are from the fire roasted tomatoes, which add lots of great flavor but not a bunch of heat.

Hearty Lentil and Bean Soup Recipe

Hearty Lentil and Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried lentil & bean mix
  • 2 cans (or one box) vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Stir and cook until onion is tender.
  2. Add garlic, oregano and basil and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in lentils and beans then add broth and water and the can of tomatoes with the juice.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer covered for 90 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://momrewritten.com/2017/01/11/budget-dinner-bean-lentil-soup-recipe/

Never Cooked with Lentils? This Hearty Lentil & Bean Soup is quick & delicious!

 

Cookies for Santa – Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe with "healthier for you" ingredients!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

When Christmas Eve rolls around this year, don’t forget to set out that delicious plate of treats for Santa (with a cold glass of milk, of course!) This is one that Santa (and the rest of the family) is sure to love. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies would be perfect for a cookie exchange or bake sale as well.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

I prepared these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies with “better for you” ingredients like whole wheat flour, coconut oil, organic peanut butter and oats. But there was no scrimping on taste whatsoever; my family went wild over these cookies with such phrases as, “Melts in my mouth!” and “Amazing!” I think you’ll love them too…just don’t forget to leave a few for Santa!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used organic version, just nuts & salt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup quick-cook oats

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together coconut oil and butter until blended.
  3. Add brown sugar and white sugar and mix until creamed.
  4. Add peanut butter and mix well.
  5. Add eggs, beating after each.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and coconut. Mix well to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients to wet a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Mix in dry oats.
  9. Use a tablespoon to drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake 10-15 minutes until cookies are lightly browned. Watch to make sure they do not overcook.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://momrewritten.com/2016/12/14/cookies-for-santa-oatmeal-peanut-butter-cookies/

Julie-signature

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

 Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Guilt-Free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Last week we had our first hint of fall here in Southern California. Temperatures dropped from the high 90s and we were blessed with several cool days. I struggle to cook in the summer months because it’s just so darned hot in my little house without air conditioning. And I sure do get bored eating salad at every meal! As soon as I felt a cool in the air, I delighted in baking chocolate chip cookies and made a delicious pot roast in the Dutch oven. I also made a family favorite, my roasted garlic and rosemary potato soup recipe.

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

I’ve been making this soup for years, much to the delight of my family. I like that I can prepare the potatoes ahead of time and then put together the soup quickly for dinner.This soup is appropriately creamy and flavorful with a wholesome thickness but without the guilt that creamy soups usually have. You know, like tons of butter and cream? Not here!

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Half of the potatoes are peeled, then sprinkled with chopped onion and rosemary and drizzled with olive oil

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Check out that beautiful garlic clove, pure heaven!

No butter or heavy cream in this one, just a little bit of half and half. The thickness comes from the potatoes themselves, pureed into the base inside your blender. Couldn’t be easier! And if you wanted to make it even more of a healthy dish, you could replace the half and half with milk instead.

Recipe for easy Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup

Guilt-free Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

This soup is wonderful served as a meal of its own or alongside a fresh green salad, turkey sandwich or just a piece of buttered bread (that’s how I had it!) We had a small amount left over for lunch the next day so I warmed it back up in a pot with a drizzle of milk to thin it and it reheated back up nicely. Mmmm, such a warm and cozy fall meal, I think you’ll love my Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bulb garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz chicken broth (or one bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups of water)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of half and half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Peel and cube three of the potatoes and place on one side of a 9" x 2" pan.
  3. Cube the remaining three potatoes with the skin on and place those on the other side of the pan (peeled potatoes on one side, unpeeled on the other).
  4. Sprinkle chopped onion and snipped rosemary across the top of the potatoes.
  5. Peel off the dry outsides on the garlic bulb. Cut across the top, leaving the bulb intact but exposing the cloves. Place upright in the center of the pan.
  6. Drizzle oil across the top of garlic and potatoes.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes. Set aside to fully cool.
  8. Squeeze the garlic paste from the bulbs into a high-powered blender.
  9. Add peeled potatoes, half the onion, half the broth and all of the flour and pepper into the blender.
  10. Blend until nearly smooth.
  11. Pour into a medium saucepan and add in unpeeled potatoes, rest of onion and broth. Add half and half.
  12. Cook until bubbly and warm.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://momrewritten.com/2016/10/25/roasted-garlic-rosemary-potato-soup-recipe/

Julie-signature