Top 10 High Protein Breakfast Ideas For Kids

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Mothers want their children to have healthy and nutritious foods. A high-protein breakfast for kids can be ideal since it fuels them and makes them feel full. However, making breakfast for kids can be a big task, especially for finicky eaters. Proteins help to keep the sugar levels steady while providing essential nutrients. Practicing healthy eating from a young age helps the children stick to healthy eating habits later. It may even help to avoid many lifestyle-related diseases and conditions in children. Read on to know the protein requirements for kids and some of the best high-protein breakfast ideas for them through this post.

In This Article
protip_icon Did you know?
Children who skip breakfast have lower academic performance, obtain less iron (a crucial nutrient) and are more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), which indicates they are overweight (5).

Top 10 High-Protein Breakfast Ideas For Kids

Here are ten protein rich breakfast ideas for kids that they will love to start the day with:

1. Eggs:

Eggs for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Eggs are a great source of protein and are also the perfect way for your kids to start the day.
  • You can prepare the egg in a way that your kid loves the most, and also prepare it in different ways to add more variety.
  • One of the easiest ways to serve eggs to your kids is to whip up some scrambled egg and make some buttered toast to go along with it. You may also add some mashed avocado on top of it.
  • You can also take the easy way out and give your kid some hard boiled eggs.
  • You can also try an omelet. The best part about omelets, apart from their awesome taste, is that you can make a different variety of them. You can also try egg poach or add it to other recipes such as protein pancakes, protein muffins, protein waffles, and more. This is a healthy and yummy protein-rich breakfast for kids.

2. Nuts:

Nuts for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Nuts are also a powerhouse of proteins that will fill your kid up with a high dose of nutrients.
  • You can give your kid nuts in any form that they like the best, as standalone nuts or even mixed in other recipes.
  • Peanut butter is also a great source of protein, and you can add it to a piece of whole-grain toast, waffles, or even use it as a dip with fruits.
  • You can add chopped nuts or granola to a bowl of yogurt or oats to make a delicious and healthy breakfast.

3. Dairy Products:

Dairy products for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Include dairy products to give your kid a delicious and healthy start to the day.
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese slices and even cottage cheese are a good source of protein.
  • Make delicious milkshakes, protein shakes, cheese toast, and grilled cottage cheese to give your kids variety.
  • According to a CDC report, 59.7% of children aged 2-5 years, 47.3% aged 6-11 years, and 31.5% of adolescents aged 12-19 include milk as part of their morning meal.

protip_icon Quick tip
Another simple way to help your child consume more dairy is to freeze tiny fruit and yogurt mixture dollops to create tasty yogurt bites. For the hot summer, yogurt bites will be a fantastic alternative to popsicles (5).

4. Protein Smoothie:

Protein smoothie for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • You can make a delicious, filling, and protein rich smoothie right at home with some easily available ingredients.
  • Add some coconut milk, almond butter, banana, vanilla, egg yolks, cocoa powder, and cinnamon powder to a blender and make a smoothie. You can also add or change some ingredients based on your kid’s preference. You may add chia seeds for added benefits if your child likes the taste.

5. Strawberry Smoothie:

Strawberry smoothie for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • A strawberry smoothie will be delicious and also keep your kid full for the first half of the day.
  • Make a smoothie at home by adding strawberries, uncooked oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt, honey and some milk in a blender.

6. Meats:

Meats for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Adding meats to your kid’s breakfast will bring in taste and an extremely filling and protein-rich menu.
  • You can give your kids meat in various forms and also add it as a variation for each day of the week.
  • Lean breakfast meat options are high in protein and low on fat. Some great meat-based breakfast ideas include turkey or chicken sausage.

7. Quick Protein Ingredients To Add In Other Recipes:

Quick protein ingredients to add in other recipes

Image: Shutterstock

  • If your kid is a picky eater, you can always add some protein in other recipes, without them even knowing about it.
  • Add ingredients such as oats, milk powder, eggs, bananas, etc. in foods that your kid otherwise loves.

8. Oatmeal:

Oatmeal for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Oatmeal is another high protein breakfast foods for kids. You can make it as a creamy breakfast recipe with fruits and nuts on top, or add it to pancakes, smoothies, and other recipes to make them healthier.

9. Cereal:

Cereal for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Top a bowl of cereal with lots of chopped fruits and milk.
  • It will make a healthy and very delicious protein rich breakfast for your kids.

10. Salad:

Salad for high protein breakfast for kids

Image: Shutterstock

  • Give your kid a healthy breakfast by serving a plate of salad.
  • Add ingredients such as lean meats, eggs, green vegetables and more to make it delicious and rich in protein.

Simple High Protein Recipes

1. Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Image: Shutterstock

You Need:

  • ½ cup milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (can use dairy-free options)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ tbsp chia seeds
  • Choice of toppings (fresh berries, peanut butter, almond butter, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes)

How To:

  1. Mix milk, yogurt, vanilla, and maple syrup together in a small container (e.g. mason jar).
  2. Add chia seeds and oats and stir until it is lump-free.
  3. Place a lid and keep it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least four hours.
  4. Stir the mixture before eating and add milk to adjust consistency. Then, add your favorite toppings, such as berries, bananas, seeds, nuts butter, coconut flakes, or nuts.

2. High Protein Muffins

High Protein Muffins

Image: Shutterstock

You Need:

  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups oats (ground into flour in a blender)
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • Coconut oil

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease 24 muffin tins with coconut oil and line with paper liners.
  3. Peel and mash bananas and add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
  4. Gradually add the oatmeal to the egg mixture.
  5. Mix the other dry ingredients together and fold them into the wet mixture.
  6. Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until muffins have risen.
  8. Cool and serve or store.

Despite the availability of various foods rich in protein, some studies have shown a decreased daily recommended protein intake in the US population. The ideal protein distribution should be equivalent across the meals (30g in each meal). But as the graph shows, there is an imbalance, with Americans eating a bulk of their protein during dinner, exceeding even recommended intake, and significantly less protein in breakfast.

Estimated distribution of protein across a day\'s meals

Source: Protein, Its What’s for Breakfast; American Society for nutrition/Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do children need protein for breakfast?

Children between four and eight years need 19 grams of protein per day, whereas children between 9 and 13 years need 34 grams (1). To meet these protein requirements, your child would need to take some protein in each meal, including breakfast. Do not solely depend on protein bars. Since breakfast is the first meal of the day, adding protein maintains your child’s energy levels and keeps them full for longer (2).

2. Which vegetables are rich in protein?

Broccoli, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and bok choy are some protein-rich vegetables you can include in your child’s diet (3) (4).

3. How does a protein breakfast help kids stay focused and energized throughout the day?

A protein-rich breakfast assists children in maintaining focus and energy all day. It offers long-lasting energy and keeps them feeling satisfied. Protein from meat, beans, eggs, and dairy helps sustain energy levels and improve cognitive abilities, leading to increased concentration and better academic results (2).

4. What are the potential consequences of skipping a protein-rich breakfast for kids?

Skipping a breakfast high in protein can harm children’s hunger and food intake. It might cause excessive eating, weight gain, and obesity. Including a protein-packed breakfast can control appetite, enhance satiety, and lower calorie intake. Thus, it’s beneficial for curbing hunger and promoting healthy eating habits among children (6 ).

5. How does a protein breakfast contribute to weight management in children?

Including a breakfast high in protein can aid in weight management for kids by decreasing their hunger and overall food consumption. Research on teens who skipped breakfast revealed that protein-rich meals increased their sense of satiety and decreased their appetite, unlike skipping breakfast or consuming a regular-protein meal. This indicates that a protein-rich breakfast might enhance appetite regulation in young individuals, potentially supporting the maintenance of a healthy weight (6 ).

6. Can a protein breakfast help improve academic performance in children?

Protein-rich breakfasts positively impact children’s academic performance. Regularly having breakfast, and including school programs, enhance focus and academic achievements, especially for undernourished children. Math and arithmetic grades show significant improvement with a nutritious morning meal (7).

7. Are there any specific benefits of a protein breakfast for active children or athletes?

For energetic children or sports enthusiasts, a breakfast rich in protein offers special advantages. It aids their training, recuperation, and overall performance by supplying vital nutrients for development and maturity. Nonetheless, limited research due to ethical concerns restricts guidance for young athletes, leaving them to follow adult recommendations (8).

8. What are some tips for parents to encourage their kids to eat a protein breakfast regularly?

To encourage kids to eat protein breakfasts regularly, offer diverse options, involve them in meal preparation, make it enjoyable, lead by example, and provide positive reinforcement for choosing protein-rich foods.

Offering a high-protein breakfast to children is an ideal way to help them start the day with energy. Proteins help them stay full for a longer time and help in proper growth and development. Eggs, protein smoothies, oatmeal, etc., are some protein breakfasts for kids. You can offer different protein breakfasts each day to keep your children interested. You may also include other ingredients to create exciting recipes. As parents, your focus should be on sneaking protein into your children’s diet in different ways. This practice will help them develop healthy eating habits.

Infographic: Healthy High-Protein Breakfast Food Items

Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps in the healthy growth and development of children. Therefore, parents must ensure adequate amounts of protein-rich foods for their children in their meals. Read the infographic below for some healthy and tasty ways to offer protein in your child’s breakfast.

simple and tasty high protein breakfast ideas for children (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


Explore these simple high-protein breakfast recipes in this video that will keep your children energized and satisfied.

Key Pointers

  • Incorporating proteins in your child’s diet is crucial as they are the building blocks of the body and help stabilize sugar levels.
  • High-protein breakfasts are effective in keeping children satiated for longer periods and supplying vital nutrients.
  • Eggs, dairy products, meat, and nuts are excellent sources of protein that can be included in breakfast meals.
  • Smoothies are a quick and enjoyable means of introducing protein into a child’s diet.
Protein Breakfast For Kids_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How much protein does my child need?.
    https://health.choc.org/how-much-protein-does-my-child-need/
  2. Healthy Breakfast For Children: Why Is It So Important?
    https://blog.cincinnatichildrens.org/healthy-living/fitness-and-nutrition/why-breakfast-important-kids/
  3. Plant-Based Sources of Protein Infographic.
    https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/plant-based-protein-infographic
  4. 13 of the Best Vegetarian and Vegan Protein Sources.
    https://health.clevelandclinic.org/13-of-the-best-vegetarian-and-vegan-protein-sources/
  5. Dairy in your child’s diet.
    https://extension.usu.edu/nutrition/research/dairy-in-your-childs-diet
  6. The addition of a protein-rich breakfast and its effects on acute appetite control and food intake in ‘breakfast-skipping’ adolescents.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4263815/
  7. The effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/
  8. Nutritional Considerations for Performance in Young Athletes
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590906/
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Dr. Elizabeth Roberts
Dr. Elizabeth RobertsPhD, MSc, BSc, SRD
Dr. Elizabeth Roberts, a registered dietitian based in Somerset, UK, with 22 years of experience. She was raised mostly abroad and lived her early life in Norway, Greece and Germany. It was experiencing different eating cultures and behaviors that sparked her interest in food and nutrition.

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Sindusha MS
Sindusha MSMSc (Food & Nutrition)
Sindusha is a clinical nutritionist with over two years of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She did her Masters in Food Science and Nutrition from Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women and has qualified UGC-NET.

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Swati Patwal
Swati PatwalM.Sc. (Food & Nutrition), MBA
Swati Patwal is a clinical nutritionist, a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and a toddler mom with more than a decade of experience in diverse fields of nutrition. She started her career as a CSR project coordinator for a healthy eating and active lifestyle project catering to school children.

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Dr. Joyani Das
Dr. Joyani DasM.Pharm, PhD
Dr. Joyani Das did her post-graduation from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and PhD in Pharmacology. Previously, she worked as an associate professor, faculty of Pharmacology, for two years. With her research background in preclinical studies and a zeal for scientific writing, she joined MomJunction as a health writer.

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