[FoodFilter] Non-sugary, portable breakfasts/snacks that keep well?
May 12, 2022 12:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas for a small breakfast/snack to feed my kids in the 3 minutes before heading out in the morning or on the walk to daycare/school. They eat a proper, leisurely breakfast less than 30 minutes later at daycare/school, so it's not about hunger, it's just that I accidentally taught them to eat breakfast every day and now they are outraged at the idea of not eating anything before leaving home. I usually resort to giving each kid one cookie (keeps well, no prep, easy to consume), but would like to expand our options, ideally with something with less sugar. We don't have a microwave, but do have a panini press.

I thought of cereal, but that requires liquids, and liquids are always a risk, as 50% of the time someone will spill something and need to change clothes and then we're running late.

I could bake my own cookies and make them with less sugar than store-bought, but they wouldn't keep as long as the store-bought ones.

I was thinking maybe something I could freeze and then heat up in the panini press or on the stove?
posted by gakiko to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Pancakes

Banana bread

For cookies, you could take them out of the freezer the night before.

Overnight oats/chia pudding.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 1:04 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: Piece of fruit? Apples, pears, bananas, clementines, kiwifruit, and lots of others can all be eaten out of hand.
posted by basalganglia at 1:10 AM on May 12, 2022 [9 favorites]

Best answer: Muffin tray egg bites, with spinach and/or capsicum and/or bacon and/or anything you have in the fridge. You can make a big batch, freeze and defrost. They are good at room temperature. And if they're too filling you can use a mini-muffin tin for small ones.
posted by Adifferentbear at 1:12 AM on May 12, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Have you considered something like no-bake Energy Balls? They keep super well in the fridge (and up to a week on the counter), and if you batch made them you could freeze the lot and thaw a few for the week. They're substantial but can be made as small as needed, and don't create a big crumbly mess when eaten. They're also sweet enough to suit little one's palettes, but not overly processed.

For pre packed snacks that are quick to eat and non-messy, maybe dried fruit or roasted nuts? Or individual cheeses like babybells or pre-portioned cheddar? Or flavoured rice cakes?
posted by Pemberly at 1:24 AM on May 12, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Glass of milk and a banana was my mother's go to. Milk before you leave the house, banana on the way. The combo is close to a whole meal with protein, carbs and fats in good balance plus fibre. If you can find them, get Lady Finger bananas. Sweet and nourishing kid-size morsels.
posted by Thella at 2:48 AM on May 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Our household does grab-and-go breakfast as we have young kids and we are rushing for work too.

They have one brioche (store-bought), one cheese (either a slice of brie or a Babybel), and one whole apple for their breakfast. So that's carbs, protein and fibre done. All from the supermarket.

They get the food wrapped in one sheet of the kitchen roll to wipe up any mess.
posted by moiraine at 2:49 AM on May 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Hmmm… maybe one half of a mini bagel with cream cheese and a few berries on top, or a slice of lean turkey.
posted by mochapickle at 4:06 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A boiled egg, peeled. Great cut in half and liberally sprinkled with furikake (or even just sesame seeds), maybe with a quick squeeze of Kewpie mayo.
A cube of cheese and wholegrain crackers.
Sugar-free peanut butter on wholegrain crackers, maybe with mashed banana.
Rice crackers and a small tub of hummus for dipping.
posted by some little punk in a rocket at 4:25 AM on May 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Smoothies?
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 4:33 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: This doesn't need to be complicated, especially since they're getting a full breakfast shortly afterwards. A piece of bread (raisin bread would be fancier) or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would work. (Toast would be more classic breakfast, but that can get a bit messy with crumbs.) You could also make low-sugar muffins and freeze them - either full-size muffins or minis. There are tons of recipes for "healthier" muffins using whole grains and fruit.
posted by FencingGal at 4:46 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tamari almonds.
posted by metasarah at 5:13 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: I think our kids would have liked a few TaterTots or a hash brown potato patty.

Nutritionally speaking, nuts would fill the bill. A handful of almonds or walnuts for instance. Or look for a "bar" with nuts and a sugar level you can live with. A Kind bar, maybe.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:17 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lump of hard cheese no larger than a Babybel and half an apple.

Also, savoury muffins - any number of varieties, can be as healthy or unhealthy as you like it to be. I personally find they are nicer if you can warm them up just a touch.
posted by koahiatamadl at 5:33 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've never lived with children. But, pre-cut fruit might be worth considering.
posted by eotvos at 5:53 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: String cheese. Portable, kid-friendly, high-protein, non-messy.
posted by jabes at 6:10 AM on May 12, 2022 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Can you just give them a Baby Bell cheese each?
posted by DarlingBri at 6:15 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - Banana (whole or half)
- Most similar to the cookies: a "healthy" cracker/crispbread like an Ak-Mak or a Wasa (with a nut or seed butter of your choice if you want to get fancy)
posted by mskyle at 6:45 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: apple slices. can be placed in a baggie for munching in car.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:45 AM on May 12, 2022

Best answer: A stick of turkey pepperoni or a baby bel cheese are what my nephew likes in the morning before his actual breakfast. Bonus: higher protein, lower carb, so more staying power than typical breakfast foods.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:52 AM on May 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This has really gotten me thinking. My instinct is to second the suggestion for a small glass of milk and some fruit. If you don't have small glasses, this might be a good reason to buy some. I use Turkish tea glasses or Chinese cups. And cut up the fruit (banana or apple) into bite sized pieces/slices and serve them on small plates. Or serve some berries in little bowls. Make it as the first thing, so it is ready when the kids get to the table for those five minutes.
If you want to add some carbs, make a whole grain banana bread during the weekends, they keep well. But it shouldn't be necessary. The combination of milk and fruit is really satisfying, short term.

The reason for the tiny glasses and the cut up fruit is to make it seem more like a "real" meal than a whole or half fruit and a carton of some drink. The kids come to the table, and there is a serving of food. They can bring one piece of fruit with them, but they shouldn't be eating on the way, as you say, they won't starve. I think one fruit to share among them is fine. Or one slice of banana bread cut into four pieces to share. Kids should never eat ultra-processed food, since we have no idea what it does to their bodies.
posted by mumimor at 7:13 AM on May 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I make myself a big bowl of popcorn at night I always leave a sizable portion of it for my son, who loves to eat it for breakfast before he goes to school. So, popcorn. Popcorn is my answer. It's delicious, full of fiber, customizable, cheap, not sugary, and keeps for a day or two qite well.
posted by mezzanayne at 9:41 AM on May 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Maybe Belvita (or a similar homemade breakfast cookie/bar) or a piece of cinnamon/chocolate/raisin/banana etc. bread? Similar to the cookie but more breakfast-y and if you make it yourself you can make it as healthy as you’d like.
posted by MadamM at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2022

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