11 Kid's Quick & Yummy Breakfast Foods to Help with Reading Difficulties
If you have a struggling reader, chances are you've tried a ton of different things to move your child forward in the right direction. (Tutoring, special classes, reading specialists, even doctor's appointments).
But, have you considered your child's diet? Think about it. The scientific function of reading takes a ton of small processess that work together in our bodies to allow us to even begin the amazing thing that is reading.
Not only do your child's eyes need to be working correctly, but all the aspects in the brain that work together for reading have to be functioning properly to be able to process the system of reading.
A child's whole body needs to be in top shape for best learning.
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Feel free to jump straight to the 11 Breakfast ideas below, but first let me tell you real quick what nutrients these foods will include (and why).
These are a few of the vitamins and nutrients your child needs to be able to read well (and to function well at school overall).
Vitamin D - Not only does it help your child process calcium to grow strong bones, but it also makes your child be less susceptible to illness, helps boost their energy for the day, and keep their mood happier for better learning. You can get Vitamin D from sunlight, milk, and lots of great green veggies.
Zinc - According to this abstract, insufficient levels of zinc in children have been associated with lowered learning ability, and even apathy. We need proper levels of zinc for our brains to work efficiently.
So, if you want your child's brain to be processing well, be sure to include it in your child's diet. Zinc can be found in meat, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains.
Magnesium - Also be sure to include magnesium, as it also helps brain function. There have been studies have also shown that children with dyslexia are also usually deficient in Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. So be sure to include all of these!
In addition, magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, which immensely helps with anxiety. It's a nervous system relaxant and mineral that assists with fear, irritability, and restlessness. That can certainly help your child at school, especially if he experiences anxiety.
Sources of magnesium are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Vitamin B12 - Make sure to include Vitamin B12 as well. Sometimes taken to treat memory loss, to help with poor concentration, and to boost mood or energy levels.
These are all things that can only help your child while she is trying to focus on learning at school.
You can find Vitamin B12 in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Look up "foods to help with dyslexia" on Google, and you'll quickly realize that a lot of our kids with dyslexia, or dyslexia-type problems are also deficient in their Omega-3's (For instance, this article).
According to research, giving fish oil supplements helps many children with their reading, their concentration, their mood and their behavior. Specifically with their reading! So be SURE to make sure your child is getting these nutrients.
You can find Omega-3's in oily fish foods, some seeds, walnuts, shrimp, salmon and more.
And now, on to the 11 breakfast ideas to boost your child's reading:
1. Egg and bacon cups
You can make these the night before or even a few days before and freeze to pop out of the freezer and heat up for a quick meal.
You'll need a 12-cup muffin pan (sprayed with Pam or cooking spray). For each cup, circle a piece of bacon inside. Pour into that a whisked egg, stirred with spices. (I like to use Mrs. Dash!). Top with anything you like (melted cheese, salsa, or even use this as a chance to sprinkle on some of those chia seeds!
2. Blueberry Smoothie
Any type of blender will do, but if you have a Ninja type blender, smoothies in the morning are SUPER easy. I make individual smoothies for some of my kids in like 5 -10 minutes each morning.
I can sneak healthy foods in that they would never approve, and tell them after they looove it how much kale and chia I put inside! 🙂
A great blueberry smoothie might have frozen blueberries, almond milk, half a banana, with maybe some kale and chia mixed in too.
3. Whole wheat toast with sliced bananas
Super easy, and healthy too! Grab a slice of whole wheat toast or two, layer with a healthy choice of natural peanut butter, and top with slices of bananas. My daughter loves this!
If you have a nut allergy in your family, you can also choose sunflower butter if that might be something your family might like.
4. Fruit parfait
Make a pretty and yummy fruit parfait for a nutritious start to your child's day and to get them on the road to reading!
The base of your parfait can be made with a plain healthy Greek yogurt, and then you can sweeten it up in layers of granola, cut up fruits of your choice, and even drizzled with a little bit of honey.
Be sure to serve it up in a clear cup, so that your child can enjoy how pretty it is, and also take it to go in the car on a hurried morning.
5. Egg Sandwich
Another option for a great protein-filled breakfast might be an egg sandwich.
I love to whisk an egg with Mrs. Dash (or just salt and pepper), then pan-fry it over hard. Then I layer a slice of whole wheat toast with mayo, and then put the egg on top.
You can layer with a sprinkle of cheese, but also (if your kid would even consider it - mine wouldn't - a slice of tomato. 🙂 ) Another idea on top would be sliced avocado.
6. Boiled egg with fruit or oatmeal
I like to make a few boiled eggs in the morning, and kids can grab as they want to. One boiled egg is enough to fill me up, personally. If I can get a bowl of oatmeal in my oldest, too, he'll love that.
My youngest son likes his with just a little bit of salt sprinkled on, and to round it out, I'll add a piece of cut fruit to the side. I don't ask him if he wants it (he'll say no). But, if I include the fruit, he'll snack on it.
The same goes for putting a bowl out of fruit or veggies on the counter. People will snack on them if they are available, but if left in the fridge, they may go to waste.
Materials & Ingredients:
- Salt & pepper
7. Breakfast Burrito
A breakfast burrito is a nice hearty breakfast before school. This is probably my most go-to when I have a super-hungry kid on my hands (or just a long day ahead and sustenance is needed).
I'll whisk up an egg in a mug with salt and pepper, then scramble it up in the microwave for 40 seconds. Then, I'll put the egg onto a tortilla (sometimes flour, sometimes corn). (You could use gluten-free tortillas too!)
Then I'll add whatever we are in the mood for. Bacon, sausage, cheese with salsa are our main go-to's. And you can add spinach or kale with some good seasonings thrown in under the cheese. Microwave again to melt and roll up.
That took about 5 minutes (if the meat was already made). Easy peasy!
Materials & Ingredients:
- Frying pan or mug
- Tortillas of your choice
- Bacon or sausage
- Salt and Pepper
8. Sausage with apple slices
The smell of sausage on the skillet in the morning is a great way to start the day! My kids love sausages in patties, and you can also serve crumbled or in links. Sometimes texture matters a ton to kids, so it's worth it to try foods a few different ways.
Serve with apples or any fruit.
9. Dark chocolate smoothie
Chocolate is always a winner! You can sneak lots of things into a yummy smoothie, too.
I like to make mine with a frozen banana, 2 TB dark chocolate powder, chia seeds, kale, honey (for sweetness), and maybe even a little cinnamon with a cup of almond milk.
10. Cheerios and yogurt
In a hurry? Grab a quick yogurt and head out the door.
Here's a little secret on the Cheerios, and something we do in a pinch at our house. In a rush, I'll put about 1/2 a cup of Cheerios in a ziplock sandwich bag (I'll tuck another baggie in to double it and prevent leaks).
Then I'll pour a little milk in, grab a plastic spoon, and my kids can eat their cereal in the car, then just throw away. Easy and healthy too!
I always purposefully make extras when I cook. If it's casserole night, I frequently double the recipe and make an extra casserole. I'll either stick it in the fridge for the week ahead, or I'll even portion it out into freezable baggies.
My daughter loves to eat leftovers for breakfast! And I'm totally okay with it, because it's probably something healthy, and probably filled with protein and veggies, too. So this might be an option for your kids, too.
Foods to help with reading difficulties
I hope this helps you think up some ideas for a healthy breakfast for your kiddos. When you pick foods to help with reading difficulties that your child might have, consider the whole body.
Target foods that really boost the brain, and try to shoot for a good hearty protein in the morning if you can.
Good luck! I know you are doing the best for your child. You've got this!
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