Avoiding the Mid-Morning Munchies

by Hal and Melanie Young | February 26th, 2014

One thing that is pretty common across guys of all ages is that they love to eat! Moms tell us their boys eat breakfast, but are starving just a couple of hours later. I think they’re finding out just what we have: Carbs do not a good breakfast make for a growing boy!

Brown Bear standing up looking at Camera

When a boy’s starving too soon after breakfast, we usually hear that he’s had cereal with skim milk or fruit or bread that morning. Carbohydrates are the energy fuel for our bodies. Carbs are quickly digested and quickly converted into the glucose our cells need. That means his blood sugar goes up quickly which makes a lot of insulin release (insulin is the key that unlocks the cell door for glucose). That big insulin release leads to a blood sugar crash. Boom! He’s hungry again in a couple of hours after eating. Fiber slows down the blood sugar rise, so whole fruit is better than juice and whole grains better than white grains.

Protein causes a much slower increase in blood sugar and fat causes the slowest rise. Don’t be afraid of fats. Growing children need fats for proper brain growth. When you serve something with not just carbs, but protein and fats, then his blood sugar stays more even and he stays full longer.

So, what can you serve for breakfast?

Cheese Toast – This is quick and easy: put cheese on bread and toast it! Cheese is a high fat protein, so it has all three you need. There are all sorts of variations, too – English muffins, bagels, bread, rolls.

Bagels and Cream Cheese – Once again, fast easy, and has carbs, protein and fat.

Oatmeal with Milk and Butter – The milk completes the protein in the oatmeal, butter provides extra fat.

Grits with Cheese – If you don’t like grits, you haven’t had them cooked right. They need to cook a lot longer than the bag says. Aldi is a good brand to start with since it’s ground more finely and is easier to get creamy. Be sure to salt to taste. Boys love Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning on them.

Quesadillas – Put a dot of butter in your skillet on medium. Put the tortilla on top of it, when it’s hot, turn it over and put a handful of grated cheese on top, then fold over. Toast on both sides. Serve with salsa.

Cream of Wheat with Milk and Butter – The milk completes the protein and the butter adds fat.

Omelets – Beat eggs, add to a hot, buttered skillet. Lift edges so raw eggs can run under. Flip, then fill with cheese, meat, or veggies, then fold. Boys often love to cook these. Add a piece of toast or muffin or fruit if you want to add some carbs.

Scrambled Egg Sandwiches – Pile scrambled eggs on buttered toast. Good with just salt and pepper, or you can add ham, sausage, or cheese.

Greek Yogurt with Fruit or Granola – Get the full fat kind for staying power.

I can think of some more, but I’d rather hear your ideas! Share any ideas you have for filling, balanced (in carbs, protein, and fat) breakfasts for our boys?

Leave a comment, and I’ll choose one of you to receive a free digital download of Raising Real Men – either the book or the audiobook! Congratulations to Tracey @MakeRoomFor — our winner!

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  • Narelle

    We love breakfast pie… In a pastry base throw chopped sausages, capsicum (bell pepper?), some sliced mushrooms, a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Crack eggs all over the top to cover the filling then load up the top with grated cheese and bake till cooked and browned. Yummy warm or cold so make a few day’s worth at once!

    • Anonymous

      Yummy!

  • Becki

    I will show this to my 12 yo ds. Maybe he week start to believe me if he heard it from someone else

    • Anonymous

      With a 12yo, sometimes it helps! :-) You might also be interested in our Boot Camp 9-12 live webinar series. It’s all the things we wish we’d known when the oldest of our six boys were that age. :-) http://raisingrealmen.com/bootcamp

  • JessDem

    My boys (even my hubby) love when I make bacon pancakes. Make the batter as usual. Pour a strip of batter in the pan (almost the length of a strip of bacon,) place one piece of cooked bacon directly on batter and pour more batter on top. Cook as you normally would a regular pancake.
    They are perfect for dunking in syrup or on the go with a piece of fruit. And, IF there are leftovers, they are super easy to reheat for a quick breakfast. :)

    • Anonymous

      I’ve got to try this. Bacon and pancakes – what could go wrong? :-)

  • Jenn

    When we’re in a hurry I make up a bunch of hard boiled eggs ahead of time and they often want those with banana and cup of milk . We also make an entire pan of sausage patties in the oven at 400 degrees put the patties in even before the oven is preheated and bake for 30mins or so. Keep them in fridge and they’re ready for quick heat up on hurried mornings :)

    • Anonymous

      Sausage patties are a great time saver! I’ll have to try them in the oven!

  • Anonymous

    Homemade breakfast sausage covered in pancakes batter, on a stick. Egg in a hole, biscuits + eggs + bacon.

    • Anonymous

      Good idea!

  • Brandae

    Baked oatmeal with extra eggs, nut butter, real butter; egg/banana pancakes; loads of eggs and sausage/bacon; roasted diced potatoes or sweet potato hash; avocado on eggs and potatoes; homemade granola made with nuts and seeds; leftovers from dinner; soup! We avoid cereal here – with five boys and homeschooling to do – we can’t be constantly eating!

    • Anonymous

      Cereal doesn’t work for us, either. I’m going to try adding extra eggs to baked oatmeal – good idea!

      • Anne

        Remove cooked oatmeal from heat, and per serving of oats cooked, quickly whisk in one beaten egg. I then add vanilla and cinnamon and it’s delish. kind of custardy. I love toasted pecans in it, too. There are lots of recipes on the web–search “raw egg added to oatmeal.”

  • Anonymous

    Popeye’s are a favorite for breakfast here (and sometimes dinner when I find myself without a plan!) It’s just a hot pan with extra butter, use a biscuit cutter to cut a circle in a slice of bread and fry an egg in the middle. You have eggs and toast in less than 3 minutes!

    • sara

      My boys love this too!

    • Towngirl412 .

      We call those Frog-In-a-Hole here! A favorite!

    • ring90

      I have heard these called Toad-in-the-Hole, but we always called them Eggs in a Frame!

      • Anonymous

        You are the winner of a digital download of Raising Real Men! Contact us with your email address and whether you want to read or listen to the audiobook!

    • unmistakable1

      We call this one-eyed toast! The best part for my boys is “poking his eye” (with lots of screaming and agony, of course). :o) Sometimes, I add a nice sprinkling of grated cheese on top, too.

      • Anonymous

        Haha! Aren’t boys great? :-)

      • Heather

        We called them One-Eyed Monsters, but there has got to be “eye” poking, screaming & agony for sure!

    • Anonymous

      I’d forgotten about these!

  • shannon

    Smoothie with natural (no sugar) peanut butter, 1/2 banana, cottage cheese, and whole milk; blend and pour. Makes a fast, portable breakfast full of good fat and high protein.

    • Anonymous

      Will mention this to our guys who are getting up early to work out. Good idea!

  • erin

    our fave ‘something a little different’ breakfast is chinese egg pie. Just eggs, sesame oil, grated zucchini(optional), and green onions…… For ease, i usually just scramble them, but if you want them crepe style then add a little whole wheat flour (just enough to get it to hold together) and do them like thin pancakes

    • Anonymous

      Okay, we’ve got to try this!

  • Stephanie Stoll

    Some great ideas other than the standard eggs and sausage that my son likes.

    • Anonymous

      I’m enjoying the new ideas, too!

  • Sylvia

    My guy is allergic to dairy and eggs (as well as oatmeal and several other foods). So we have to get creative for breakfast! He loves leftovers from dinner for breakfast. Or sausage wrapped in allergy-free pancakes.

    • Anonymous

      That sure makes it challenging! As we’ve traveled, it’s surprised us how many cultures eat exactly the same things for breakfast they do the rest of the day. Why not?

    • Julie Hamill

      Us, too! I get tired of cooking bacon and sausage every morning, but there really aren’t any other protein options.

  • Anonymous

    One thing my boys like is a make ahead egg bake casserole. It has a base recipe of eggs, milk salt and cheese and then you can add bread cubes and bacon, or sausage and diced chilies or even ham. It saves me the time of cooking in the morning! Here is where I got the recipe fromhttp://heavenlyhomemakers.com/easy-breakfast-casserole

    We also like to have homemade breakfast biscuits like you buy at McDonalds only cheaper and healthier to make at home. Take your favorite biscuit recipe and make the biscuits the night before and prepare toppings ahead of time. You can have everyone custom make their own or just make them yourself. Split them in half and then cook in the oven at 400 for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese and toppings are warmed. With 3 year old and 1.5 year old boys and being 14 weeks pregnant I need to save as much time as I can in the kitchen :)

    • Anonymous

      Love, love, love breakfast casseroles! Biscuits, too!

  • Jennifer Tadlock Floyd

    My guys like leftovers from dinner for breakfast. They love when we have spaghetti !!

  • Towngirl412 .

    Peanut butter toast, or chocolate soothers from the Heavenly Homemaker site.

    • Anonymous

      I’m going to look up the chocolate recipe :-)

  • Kerri

    OK, I’m in. I’ve been wondering about this for awhile, but need some help. My son has many allergies and cannot have dairy, eggs, nuts, wheat, fish, or any legumes. HELP! What quick breakfast ideas are there?

    • cmag

      GF, egg free bread with seed butter or coconut oil and honey, coconut milk yogurt, full fat coconut milk smoothies with banana and cocoa, bacon, sausage, sweet potato hash,

      • Anonymous

        Good ideas!

    • Anonymous

      How about leftovers from the night before? You can just warm up and serve. It is so much more challenging to feed the family when you have a lot of allergies to consider. {{{hugs}}}

    • JBH

      As Gluten Free Vegans, we do oatmeal with fruit and a big green smoothie with kale, spinach, and fruit. Drop it in a Vita-mix for a quick, easy, and nutritious breakfast. The protein in Kale as well as all the fiber, fills them up until lunch.

      • Julie Hamill

        I wish my kids would eat smoothies. They like the idea, but never will actually drink them (I think it’s really the straws that are exciting!).

    • t*smom

      To navigate our family food allergies we use Sarah Schatz website… Delicious & nutritious recipes!! http://allergyfreemenuplanners.com/is-this-for-you/
      AND I agree with Melanie, leftovers from the night before, totally work. ;-)

  • Danna Long

    My 9 yo likes to toast frozen waffles and spread peanut butter on thick.

    • Anonymous

      Good idea! Much, much better than syrup.

  • Heather B.

    Instead of butter and milk in our hot oatmeal, we like to add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and lightly swirl it in, not mixing completely. This causes the peanut butter to melt and leaves pockets of melted pb goodness in every spoonful. Plus it’s the perfect mix of carbs and protein. Sometimes we add some sliced bananas too.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll have to suggest that to our peanut butter lovers!

  • Jessica Woodbridge O’Brien

    We try to do eggs most mornings (free range from a friend’s chickens) with bacon or sausage if we have it: fried, scrambled with ham, omelettes, or if I can make it ahead of time quiche (either cooked ahead of time to reheat or mixed up and ready to cook in the morning.) My favorite scrambled eggs have ham, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, garlic and onions. With bacon on the side of course! :) My 6 year old is constantly hungry so these ideas are great! And we love smoothies with spinach, kale, or chard, whole milk yogurt, frozen bananas and whatever frozen berries we have around. Put in the blender and add a bit of water too.

    • Anonymous

      Quiche! I’ll have to remember that. Love it, but it doesn’t usually come to mind. Thanks!

  • Kim

    We like green eggs…scrambled eggs with all kinds of veggies blended in (kale, broccoli, green onions, etc). Then at the table we mix in avocado, salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, and nutritional yeast. Can also put in a tortilla for a great breakfast burrito.

    • Anonymous

      Love breakfast burritos! They are a favorite around here, too!

  • Anonymous

    In the March/April 2014 issue of Well Being Journal the first two articles were about how sugar affects the body. I have started low carbing. I make a killer omelet with mushrooms, spinach, radishes instead of onion, cheese and whatever meat pleases you (bacon works best IMHO) it is usually very filling and relatively quick and easy to make. It ends up being about 4-7 carbs and can stay with you a long time…Sometimes it is dinner time before I am hungry again.

  • Dawn Santoro

    We have been making quinoa “oatmeal” for breakfast for protein. 2 cups of quinoa, 5 cups of almond milk, a little salt and some honey. It cooks up and is like oatmeal. Great gluten free and protein option. My two oldest boys have yet to ask for a snack soon after breakfast, especially if I put a hard boiled egg with it. :) We do that most days, and a couple times a week we do free range fried eggs in coconut oil with a slice of cheese. Lots of protein! :)

  • Amber Irwin Neff

    Pb and j tacos. These are pancakes heated in the microwave and spread with peanut butter or another nut or seed butter and jelly, then folded in half so it looks like a taco. My 13 year old loves these.

  • Suzie

    Add virgin coconut oil to oats. Baked oatmeal that has eggs in it (with an apple variation). If you want I can post a recipe…it can be prepared the night before. I am Russian….so we eat our pancakes and baked oatmeal with sour cream…..fat….filling. And eggs…..lots of eggs….and meat.

  • mommy.alicia

    For those days when we need to eat & run, I find I can get them to eat a piece of fruit without too much of a struggle. However, I require that they munch on a handful of nuts or seeds to go with it. My boys prefer peanuts, cashews or almonds & sunflower seeds. I think that is what helps to hold them until lunch. Other times, we just cook up some form of eggs.

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