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Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Sweet, Simple and Nutritious Back-to-School Breakfasts

With back-to-school schedules in full swing, mornings are pretty hectic for families. For parents of children with ADHD (like mine), the struggle seems especially tough attempting to navigate getting out of bed, serving a picky-eater-approved breakfast, tackling morning hygiene, dressing efficiently, monitoring medications, and packing all of the day’s necessities.

As a mother of a child with ADHD, mealtime is NOT my favorite time of day. Yes, it’s common for little ones to be picky eaters. But then layer on a suppressed appetite, sensory issues, and so on. Still, I know that packing my babe with nutrition is important on many levels. And that, of course, holds true for all parents, whether your child has ADHD, other special needs, or is considered typical. A healthy breakfast can give your student a brain and body boost that’ll last all day long.

child slicing banana

It’s possible to prepare easy breakfasts that’ll power little learners, in spite of the morning rush. Fresh fruit is a breakfast staple, and a nutritious option like watermelon is a sweet way to satisfy hunger (and thirst). As a refreshing ingredient or standalone treat, watermelon includes just 80 calories and no fat. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and because it’s made of 92% water, it’s a flavorful way to encourage kids to start a busy day well hydrated.

A bowl of watermelon cut into cubes, balls, or fun shapes is a winning idea, but you can also think outside the rind. Here are ways to give watermelon a place at your breakfast table:

  • Top a grain-based cereal like corn flakes or oatmeal with bite-size bits.
  • Make watermelon donuts for a grab-and-go delight.
  • Freeze cubes overnight and use them in place of ice in smoothies.
  • Put a twist on a breakfast favorite with watermelon oat flour waffles.
  • Add a layer of oat crumble to a bowl of watermelon balls for a savory, satisfying treat.

Frozen watermelon balls

It’s All in the Preparation

Kid-Friendly Cuts
It’s no secret that kids gravitate toward fun foods. Watermelon is a versatile fruit that offers plenty of serving options that let kids get hands-on and creative.

Slices
A classic watermelon slice may be basic, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. With the rind on, it’s an instant finger food with a built-in “handle.” Add a wooden stick for watermelon you can eat like a sucker, or pop it in the freezer for a cool way to start the day.

Cubes
Simple and versatile cubes are a solution for banishing breakfast boredom. You can cube a melon and use them differently every day of the week by eating them on their own, mixing in a fruit salad, layering with other ingredients, blending in a smoothie and more.

Sticks
There’s nothing like a dipper to get kids’ attention. A watermelon stick offers a bit of rind to hold onto and a juicy strip of sweet melon that’s perfect for dunking in a cup of yogurt or fruit dip.

Cutouts
Cut watermelon into thin slices and use cookie cutters to create a treat that shows off creativity.

watermelon dippers
Watermelon dippers

Recipes for Success

Try these yummy recipes…

Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles
Yield: 8 waffles

Ingredients

Waffles:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned or regular oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup watermelon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • nonstick cooking spray

Garnish:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cups watermelon, diced 1/2 inch
  • fresh mint leaves
  • powdered sugar (optional)
  • honey (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat Belgian or regular waffle iron.
  • In a blender, process oat flakes into flour.
  • In a bowl, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in watermelon juice and oil.
  • Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into batter.
  • Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron and bake 3-4 minutes, or according to waffle iron instructions. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Garnish waffles with yogurt, watermelon cubes, mint sprigs, powdered sugar, and honey, if desired.

watermelon breakfast dish
Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles

Watermelon Donuts
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 2 slices seedless watermelon, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • vanilla, to taste
  • 9 slivered almonds

Directions

  • Cut out donut shapes from watermelon slices.
  • Sweeten Greek yogurt with sugar and vanilla, to taste, to create the frosting.
  • Frost half of watermelon donuts with half of the frosting. Add a layer of remaining watermelon donuts and top with remaining frosting.
  • Sprinkle toasted almonds over top and serve.

For more watermelon recipes, visit watermelon.org.

Nancy DeVault is an award-winning writer/editor contributing to local and national publications. Her storytelling spans a wide range of topics, including charity, disability, food, health, lifestyle, parenting, relationships, and travel. She is married with two kiddos and describes herself as a lover of the outdoors, fitness, news, traveling and binge reading magazines while sipping coffee.

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