Heidi Harkopf

Breakfast Tips for Crazy Busy Mornings

The school year has begun and most families are adjusting to new schedules, early bus runs, and probably a lot morning commotion in the house!  But amid the craziness remember that starting the day off with breakfast is as critical to learning as pens, pencils and notebooksResearch has shown that kids who start the school day with a healthy breakfast have a huge advantage socially, behaviorally, and academically.


Here are 5 tips for ensuring your kids eat breakfast:

  1. Role model! You are the most important teacher in your child’s life.  Set the example for your children by eating breakfast.  And you’ll be amazed by the benefits it has for adults as well!
  2. Prep the night before. Although evenings are busy too, talk to your children at dinner time about the next day.  Ask what time alarms will get set and what possible breakfast choices they may like.  Find out if they would like to eat at home, or at school with their friends.
  3. Choose breakfast at school. More schools are adding breakfast to the start of the day and for good reason.  School breakfast helps improve academic performance and behavior.  In addition, students who eat school breakfast are more likely to consume fruit and milk. The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) outlines the research that supports the vital role of eating breakfast at school.
  4. If your school doesn’t have a breakfast program and you can’t get your child to eat at home because he/she isn’t hungry first thing in the morning (or slept through the alarm), pack a portable breakfast that can be eaten at the bus stop or at school. These recipes make for the most delicious portable breakfasts!  And they even double as an afternoon snack so make plenty!


Broccoli and Cheese Frittata  made in a muffin pan can be frozen for a quick reheat and grab.


Apple Cinnamon Pancake Muffins are a great way to get the yumminess of pancakes in a handy muffin!


Blueberry Delight will give you the protein power of yogurt with a blueberry cheesecake taste.


Overnight oats are wonderfully customizable for every family members taste preferences!


  1. Don’t forget the milk! Be sure you child gets enough protein getting the 8 grams offered in 1 glass of milk.  Your local supermarket also sells milk in single serve resealable containers for those days breakfast is eaten as a grab and go meal.


Looking for more ideas and strategies that will increase the chances your child will eat breakfast?  Visit this blog post by pediatric nutritionist Jill Castle.

Heidi Harkopf

Heidi is a registered dietitian and the Director of Nutrition Programs for New England Dairy & Food Council.   During her free time Heidi can be found in the kitchen or driving her 2 teenage children to activities all over her home state of Connecticut!  A firm believer that healthy food doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming, Heidi loves how dairy helps her pull meals together in a jiffy. Sound like someone you want to get to know? Contact Heidi at hharkopf@newenglanddairy.com.