Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Today's media tries to commercialize "healthy fast" breakfasts, that are actually the complete opposite. Here is a list of the 10 most common breakfasts, and more importantly, their healthy alternatives.

1. Chocolate Nut Spread

Recent commercials have seen chocolate nut spreads being advertised as a healthy food. While hazelnuts are healthy in moderation, these products are made with an abundance of sugar, which spikes insulin levels quickly, making kids hyper at the moment, but incredibly tired later on when insulin levels plummet. Instead, opt for a light chocolate flavored cream cheese spread. Your children will be getting a good supply of calcium and protein while keeping the sugar and calories balanced.


2. Boxed Cereal

Cereal marketed to children is typically filled with sugar to make them palatable. The companies use animal mascots to appeal to kids, making them bug their parents to buy the brand. Sugary cereal may be a convenient breakfast, but it won’t keep your children full until lunch.  Instead of high sugar cereals, look for whole grain options. There are some wonderful types of cereal on the market if you read labels. Check the sugar content, protein amounts, and the amount of fiber they contain before making a purchase.


3. Instant Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a wonderful breakfast for cold mornings. There are many instant oatmeal products, which act as convenient meal for busy breakfasts. However, most kids love these instant oatmeal packages because they are filled with sugar and child friendly flavors like peaches and cream or chocolate chips. Not only are these instant oatmeal products unhealthy, but they are also expensive. Instead, buy quick oats and portion them in snack bags. You can easily microwave quick oats, making them just as fast in the morning and combining them with fresh fruit and yogurt. These have more fiber and are lower in calories.


4. Breakfast Drinks

Grocery stores and pharmacies sell pre-made breakfast drinks marketed to children. These products can be amazing for children, giving picky eaters vital nutrients. However, many of these products are deliberately loaded with sugar, to boost the calorie count. If you child is healthy and doesn’t need liquid supplements, look for other options for breakfast. If your kids like to drink breakfast, try a healthy smoothie. Blend together frozen fruit with milk or yogurt. This way your kids get great protein while filling up on fiber.


5. Toast and Jam

Toast and jam seems like such an classic breakfast, but it can be loaded with empty calories. Children love white bread, but it’s got almost no fiber and won’t keep your kids full. Instead, opt for a whole grain bread. Picky children may refuse to touch brown bread, but some brands offer whole grain bread in a white color and texture. Jam or jelly is also a dangerous breakfast food. Many varieties are packed with sugar and preservatives. Look for pure fruit types with low or no sugar added.


6. Breakfast Sandwiches

A new product on the market are frozen breakfast sandwiches. These meals promise a whole breakfast in one, easy to eat form. They usually contain a bagel or biscuit with eggs and sausages or bacon. You just have to throw these products in the microwave and you’ll have an instant breakfast. Unfortunately these products are massively high in processed fat and calories. You can easily make your own breakfast sandwiches by frying an egg and lean turkey or turkey bacon, and putting them between whole grain toast.


7. Pancakes 

Pancakes and waffles are a delicious breakfast and the store bought mixes are very convenient.  You just mix the powder and water and pour it on a hot griddle. These carbohydrate laden meals will fill your kids up, but they may feel hungry soon after. Pancake toppings like table syrup or golden syrup are high in sugar and thus high in calories. If you want to treat the kids to pancakes, top them with fresh fruit and nuts for a healthier meal. You can also make pancake alternatives by mashing banana with eggs and frying the mixture.


8. Fast Food

Morning breakfasts can be chaos. Getting your children ready for school can be havoc. Sometimes it’s just easier to buy breakfast on the way to school. Your kids will love this treat, but fast food breakfast dishes can be high in calories and fat. You can make fast food breakfast sandwiches at home, letting your kids enjoy the flavor while keeping the calories under control. Toast whole grain English muffins and top them with a fried egg and slice of lean ham or low fat cheese. This breakfast is also easy to heat up quickly and eat on the road.


9. Toaster Pastries 

This retro food is a childhood favorite. Toaster pastries are delicious and easy to make breakie on a busy morning. Each one is packed with calories and sugar, but little fiber. A lack of fiber and protein means that your kids will be hungry shortly after eating breakfast. Instead of making this unhealthy food, opt for a whole grain toast with natural nut butter and sugar free fruit puree or sliced bananas.


10. Muffins

Muffins are considered a healthy food, but they can have  more empty calories than a large doughnut. Large sized muffins are filled with more carbohydrates and sugar than two slices of bread. They are also surprisingly high in fat, filled with butter and trans fat oils. Making your own muffins at home is a much healthier option than buying them. You can replace some or all of the fat with apple sauce, and amping up the fiber and nutrition with whole gain flour.