Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Teens

Mother smiling and talking to tween daughter and son

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Whether your teen sleeps until the last possible second or spends hours doing makeup in the bathroom, there’s not a lot of extra time in the morning for a nutritious breakfast.

But it's important to make time for breakfast. 

Eating a healthy breakfast is linked to better academic results and athletic performance. Studies show children who skip breakfast are more likely to have trouble concentrating in the afternoon and they're more likely to feel fatigued. 

The benefits of eating a healthy breakfast go beyond academics, however. A healthy breakfast gives children the nutrients they need for long-term health. 

So whether you have 10, five or even one ​minute, you can whip up a fast and healthy breakfast for your teen. And you can even make a quick breakfast your teen can eat on the go.

1-Minute Breakfast Ideas

  • Combine a half-cup of quick-cook, one-minute oatmeal and a cup of skim milk and microwave it for, as the name suggests, one minute in a to-go container. Toss a few frozen berries in it to cool it down and your teen can eat it in the car or, if allowed, on the school bus.
  • Pop two frozen whole-grain waffles into the toaster. Once they’re toasted, spread them with nut butter for protein and slice a banana on top. Now you have a unique version of a peanut butter and banana sandwich that your teen can grab on the go.

5-Minute Breakfast Ideas

  • Make a turkey or roast beef wrap—after all, who says wraps are only for lunch? Layer 4 ounces of deli roast beef or turkey on a whole-wheat wrap. Top it with thin slices of tomato, a layer of lettuce or spinach, a little bit of mustard and any of your other favorite sandwich topping. Roll it up, cut it in half, and your teen can eat it while waiting for the bus or walking to school.
  • Mix up a breakfast smoothie by loading a single-serving cup (for an immersion blender) or standard blender with fruit, Greek yogurt, and juice. For a boost of nutrition, add some leafy greens—your teen won’t even taste the spinach—and a scoop of protein powder to hold him over until lunch.
  • Create a breakfast sandwich—it doesn’t take the amount of time that you think! While an English muffin is toasting, crack an egg into a circular bowl or Tupperware. Put it in the microwave for 60 seconds. This will firm up the egg, which you can then turn over onto the English muffin. Top with a piece of cheese for a breakfast sandwich in minutes.

10-Minute Breakfast Ideas

  • Saute your favorite vegetables, whether mushrooms, onions or sliced bell peppers, in a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Scramble in two eggs and some diced ham for a nutritious, protein-packed breakfast.

Advance Prep Breakfast Options

Prepping your ingredients, or even your entire breakfast ahead of time is the easiest way to get a healthy meal no matter how much time you have in the morning. Get everything ready the night before or on on the weekend and store it in the refrigerator or freezer for an easy grab-and-go meal.

Some options include:

  • Boil some eggs, which can be paired with a piece of handheld fruit, such as an apple or banana, for a breakfast on the go.
  • If your teen prefers a hot breakfast, set up a breakfast burrito assembly line. Roll up scrambled eggs, peppers, and breakfast meat in a whole-wheat burrito. Wrap it in wax paper and freeze each burrito individually.
  • Make a pot of overnight oatmeal by soaking steel-cut oats in milk or water in the fridge while you’re sleeping. Scoop it out into single servings and top it with a little bit of milk, raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup for a splash of sweetness.

If your teen insists she’s not hungry in the morning, or she says she just doesn’t have time, send her with something she can eat on the go. Even if she can’t eat before school, she may be able to eat something a little later in the morning during a break or in between classes. 

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