Easy, healthy breakfast ideas for back-to-school

HOUSTON – The daily limit on sugar for kids is around 25 grams. Instant oatmeal has around half of that, and yogurt might even have more.

Pediatrician Kara Carter, of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Katy, said that when searching for fast breakfasts, plain Greek yogurt is the easiest and healthiest choice.

“Often times, because it's the smaller amount of calories, I will add and supplement some fruit and granola in there to give you a little bit more energy and keep kids until lunch, especially if they don't get a mid-morning snack,” Carter said.

She said the absolute best thing you can do for breakfast is make it ahead of time to have it ready to go from the fridge or freezer.

For example, Carter recommends mixing eggs and veggies in a cupcake pan. Bake the mix at 325 degrees for 25 minutes and you'll have egg muffins to reheat all week.

Carter said her personal favorite breakfast is a smoothie, but since juice and fruits can add too much sugar, she said to always use more veggies than fruit. Carter suggested replacing juice in smoothies with yogurt or milk to cut calories and add protein.

Carter said people should simply stay away from pre-packaged muffins and breakfast bars with excessive ingredients.

“You have to look at the labels," she said. "So, what I recommend doing is go for breakfast bars that have higher fiber and protein content. Maybe try to look for one that has at least five grams of fiber and protein. If the first ingredient says whole grain or fruit or nuts or seeds, that's much better than the first ingredient being a sugar.”

Carter said kids will get irritable, fatigued and may not score as high on tests if they're skipping breakfast.

For kids returning to HISD schools, the district now offers free breakfast to all elementary, middle schools and some high school students.