High Protein Breakfast Ideas for Kids with ADHD


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A friend recently asked me what I feed my boys, both of whom have ADHD, for breakfast. She knows that her son, who was recently diagnosed, needs a high protein breakfast for kids to jump start his brain. The problem is that his meds upset his tummy and he can be a finicky eater anyway.

I gave her my ADHD breakfast ideas that have helped my son who has ADHD, and Anxiety, over the years. These breakfast foods are very high in protein.

Neurons need proteins to help it communicate them communicate with the brain. Neurotransmitters, made from amino acids, affect behavior. Dopamine and serotonin are in protein-rich foods. A protein-rich breakfast gives a boost to an ADHD brain so your child can be set up for success in their day!

Having a breakfast menu plan also helps to make sure she has enough time in the morning to make and eat breakfast. This requires having a set morning routine.

Ours consists of a specific order of who wakes up and gets in the bathroom as we only have one bathroom (me, RestaurantMan, Logan, and then Jordan).

Everyone is responsible to grab their breakfast from set choices made the weekend before. We eat at the table and usually talk about our plans for the day. The TV does not come on and phones are not allowed. I suggested that she start by giving the meds right before or with breakfast.

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I also made sure to give her my affiliate links of products I buy from Amazon. That way when she orders (and you, too!) I get a percentage of the sales. So we helped each other out!

Create A Breakfast Menu for ADHD Breakfast Ideas

It has taken a long time to figure out what the boys will eat and even then they go through stages of likes and dislikes. I learned to make the boys think what we had for breakfast was their idea. You do that by giving them a menu of items that are “Mom Approved”. Have everything on hand so they can eat whatever they want that day.

Give them only a few options that will work with your time frame and budget for breakfast. That way things go quickly because there is no trying to decide in the morning, and (hopefully) no complaining about it since they picked it themselves. Having them lay the items out the night before also helps. That way there aren’t any surprises in the morning which cuts down on anxiety attacks.

The Top High Protein Breakfasts For Kids That Your Kids Will Eat

Oatmeal is a great ADHD breakfast idea

Yes, I know, oatmeal can be boring. But a big bowl of steel cut oats is always a great bet for breakfast protein.

If I let the boys choose whatever they wanted in their bowl of oats they would eat dinosaur oatmeal every day. While oatmeal is a good idea all those sugary dinosaurs are not.

There are ways to make oatmeal more palatable to your child. Use organic vanilla yogurt to sweeten it instead. You can slice an apple or banana into it for some bulk. The boys like to swirl crunchy peanut butter in theirs. I prefer almonds and wheat germ. We all like a teaspoon of brown sugar which is OK because we don’t eat that every day

Carnation Instant Breakfast is a quick ADHD breakfast idea when you’re on the go.

Carnation has 148 recipes for their protein shake breakfast drink. You can choose a different one to make every morning tastier. It has 5g protein by itself, and 13g protein when combined with milk, approximately 25 percent of the daily recommended intake.

To make the liquid stay in their tummy’s longer add bulk with fresh fruit, wheat germ, and yogurt. Adding Greek yogurt, which has a significant amount of protein, will also thicken it up and add to the flavor. Using 1/2 cup juice for half of the milk will add more flavor and vitamins.

You can add crushed ice cubes, frozen bananas, strawberries, mango cubes, or blueberries to make it almost like ice cream.

If your child has allergies to dairy you can try Silk or almond milk. Those have lots of protein, too. They comes in several delicious flavors like chocolate or strawberry.

If you sign up for Carnation’s Breakfast Essentials newsletter they will send you special offers and coupons! You can order their High Protein ready to drink jugs from Amazon and that way you’ll always have them on hand.

Protein Shakes and Muffins are ADHD breakfast ideas kids can carry with them.

Protein shakes for kids with ADHD are also a good thing! We drink a lot of Bolthouse Farms “Green Goodness” juice for breakfast. The boys call it “Shrek Juice” and would drink it all day long. It does have plenty of Vitamin C and Potassium.

You can add a splash of apple cider vinegar, flax or chia seed, or even maca to make that juice do double duty. If you add yogurt, plain or Greek yogurt, it instantly becomes a protein shake for kids with ADHD!

I make pumpkin muffins often and sprinkle oatmeal on top. Get the pumpkin puree and make them with Bob’s Red Mills All Purpose Gluten Free flour for an extra 12 grams of protein for every serving.

Breakfast Sandwiches are ADHD breakfast ideas that can be made ahead of time then reheated quickly.

A side order of turkey sausage with any of these options makes for a great high protein breakfast for kids.

Thick, country bacon is a great high protein breakfast meat choice. Some days we like just making a rolled meat sandwich with deli ham and a slice of cheddar along with a Shrek juice drink.

Breakfast burritos can be made on the weekend, frozen, and then popped into the microwave as needed. The boys love to add salsa to theirs. I let them because that’s more veggies into their system. Two of our favorite recipes are from The Pioneer Woman and Handle The Heat.

Instant High Protein Breakfast Foods For ADHD Kids To Keep On Hand

  • whole or sprouted grain breads so they can quickly make toast
  • various nut butters (to spread on the toast)
  • hard boiled eggs can be eaten individually or on the toast
  • avocadoes have tons of good protein and are great sliced with a bit of sea salt and garlic
  • smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich
  • yogurt cups – you can sprinkle chia seeds, frozen berries, nuts, or granola on top
  • cottage cheese with fruit and granola
  • graham crackers and peanut butter

These are just a few of the high protein breakfast foods for kids that we like. I have made a Pinterest board with these ideas and others.

Leave a link to your favorite protein breakfast recipes in the comments below. You can find a beautiful infographic of “How To Make a Smoothie” on SuperSkinnyMe. Carnation Breakfast Essentials has a Pinterest board just for kids!

Those are our ADHD breakfast ideas that have worked for our family. What’s for breakfast at your house? Let me know in the comments!

High Protein Breakfast Ideas For Kids With ADHD

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