Scary Mommy

Here Are 5 Breakfast Ideas Kids Can Make Themselves (So You Can Ease Into The Day)

August 11, 2021 Updated August 10, 2021

Boy with dinosaur figurines

Mornings might just be the most challenging part of a parent’s day. No matter how much you plan ahead — school outfits laid out at the foot of each kid’s bed, lunches assembled the night before — mornings somehow still end up being a patience-testing, beehive-like cacophony of kids scrambling to brush teeth and stuff last night’s homework into their backpacks. Simultaneously, moms and dads are rushing to make to-go coffees and slide their feet into shoes before everyone stumbles together out the door. And then while in the car someone informs you that, by the way, they need a plain white poster board for social studies … today.

To help mornings go a bit more smoothly, I love the idea of making sure your kids can get breakfast on their own. It’s been a game-changer in our house — truly, when your kid is old enough to grab or make their own nutrient-rich breakfast, the next part of your life begins. Especially with these five super easy breakfast ideas that elementary school-aged kids can prepare all by themselves. That’s right, mom and dad — you’re off the hook. (Well, at least for breakfast.)

1. A Bowl Of Cereal

Cereal is the OG of “get it yourself” breakfasts, plus it’s an easy way for your kid to get some fiber, calcium, protein, and vitamin D. Sure, there’s a learning curve with pouring the milk, and it’s probably a good idea to be prepared to do the pour if you’ve got a newly opened gallon of milk and an over-eager kid with flailing chicken arms, but learning to prepare a bowl of cereal is a critical life skill that will serve your kids well far into the future. Pre-wash some blueberries for them to throw in for extra antioxidants!

2. Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Cinnabon® Bakery Inspired Flavored Nutritional Drink

This new, delicious, on-the-go breakfast drink is the trifecta of taste, convenience, and key nutrients. Inspired by the irresistible flavor of an oven-baked Cinnabon® cinnamon roll, your kids (and you!) will happily reach for this in the morning without needing to be reminded 10 times (or at all, because yum). And, they won’t even realize all of the nutrients they’re getting — each bottle contains as much protein as 1½ large eggs plus 21 vitamins and minerals including as much vitamin D as two 8 oz. glasses of milk, and as much vitamin C as a medium orange. The taste & nutrients can’t be beat — and it’s the perfect “get it yourself” breakfast drink to help your kids (and you) start the day right.

3. Toasted Bagel

Bigger kids are perfectly able to use a toaster, smear some cream cheese on a bagel (or peanut butter for protein), and pair it with some pre-cut fruit for added nutrition. I taught mine to wait a minute after their bagel popped before pulling it out of the toaster. Sure, they may not spread the cream cheese as neatly as I do or remember to put the twist-tie back on the bagel bag, but hey, no one ever said the journey toward independence was a straight line. Baby steps, right?

4. Yogurt Parfait

This yummy breakfast feels fancy, like something you’d order at a restaurant for brunch, but it’s actually super simple to put together, and kids of just about any age can make it by themselves. Rinse berries or other fruit in advance so your child can sprinkle them over their favorite yogurt along with their favorite granola (my daughter’s favorite is cinnamon granola). It’s a quick, easy breakfast that offers a balanced mix of vitamins, minerals, protein, and whole grains.

5. Instant Oatmeal

Learning to use the microwave is another critical kid-milestone on par with learning to tie their shoes and button their own pants. Once they know how to press the buttons for the desired number of seconds required to achieve their heat preference, you’re golden. My kids both prefer their oatmeal at room temperature and thus only heat their oatmeal for 20 seconds, which I think is a bit weird, but who am I to question it? I’m just happy they’re getting good whole grain fiber. 

Any of these breakfast ideas are manageable for elementary-aged kids and older to handle on their own during the morning rush. Whether they’re a teenager bouncing out for an early morning swim practice and grabbing a convenient Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Flavored Nutritional Drink, or a second grader learning to master small kitchen appliances, your kid can absolutely manage serving up the most important meal of the day — all by themselves.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Cinnabon® Bakery Inspired Flavored Nutritional Drinks are inspired by the irresistible flavor of a delicious, oven-baked Cinnabon® cinnamon roll. With no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, this nutrient-packed breakfast drink is just what your kids need to start their day right.

Cinnabon® and the Cinnabon logo are registered trademarks of Cinnabon Franchisor SPV LLC. ©2021 Cinnabon Franchisor SPV LLC. All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland, or used with permission. ©2021 Nestlé.