On-the-Go School Breakfasts–and Breakfast Cookies!

I know we don’t really want to think about it, but it’s almost time for back to school. For most of us, it can be difficult to fit in a tasty, hearty, and healthy breakfast on the best of days, but throw in the mad morning rush before classes, packing up homework and backpacks, being sure that both shoes are on and secured—well, suddenly the breakfast relay challenge seems even more daunting.

One of my favorite ways to break the fast with a quick and nutritious meal is the ever-popular smoothie. Kids will lap these up if the fruit quotient slightly outweighs the veggie one.  And while smoothies can be fantastic (they can even be sipped during the drive to school!), there are also other options for yummy and nutrient-dense foods you can grab on the go—yet will still appeal to the younger students in your house.

Here are some great ideas for quick morning meals:

  • Smoothies. As mentioned above, these are the quintessential choice when you’re in a hurry. Be sure to include fruit, a protein source (I love SunWarrior protein powders), and a source of healthy fats (such as seeds or nuts). A big handful of raw leafy greens is optional. Blend, pour, and go.
  • Granola bars, energy bars or energy balls are always a great way to start the day. Make in advance, wrap, and you’re all set!
  • Sandwiches aren’t just for lunchtime! Kids love anything miniature, so cut that sunbutter-and-J sammie into quarters and wrap it to take along. Or wrap up yesterday’s scramble in a gluten-free tortilla and take it with you.
  • Similarly, a hearty muffin with almond or sunflower butter is a great on-the-go meal.
  • Pack your child’s cereal in a jar, with a mini carton of nondairy milk, and they’re all set for a quick breakfast before the bell rings.
  • Breakfast cookies were all the rage a while back. Why not jump on the bandwagon? You can fit a lot of nutrition in one yummy cookie!

This is one of my favorite breakfast cookie recipes. They’re nut-free and filled with healthy add-ins. Feel free to swap out the chocolate chips for goji berries, dried cranberries, raisins, chopped dates, or whatever dried fruits your kids like best.

What’s your go-to breakfast that’s quick and easy to prepare?

Breakfast Seed Cookies

Makes 16-20 cookies

These cookies contain plenty of nutrient-dense seeds for healthy protein, fat and carbs. A couple of these cookies will keep your little one–or you–satisfied long past recess!


  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut sugar
  • 1 large pear, cored and cut into 8 pieces (no need to peel)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1-2.5 ml) plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons (37.5 ml) tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) smooth natural sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 g) whole old-fashioned gluten-free oats (not instant or quick cook)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) plain rice protein powder (I like SunWarrior)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) cinnamon
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely ground flax seeds (flax meal)
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup (35 g) raw sunflower seeds
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons (37.5 ml) raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened dairy free carob chips or cacao nibs (optional; may replace with raisins, if you’re allowed)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Place the coconut sugar and pear in a food process and process until smooth. Add the stevia, vanilla, tahini, and sunflower seed butter and process again. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, protein powder, cinnamon, salt, and flax seeds to break up any lumps. Add the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and carob chips, if using.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir to coat everything well. It may seem as if it won’t hold together like a “real” cookie batter—this is as it should be.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place mounds of “dough” about one inch apart on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly and press together with your fingers if it looks as if they’re not holding together on the edges.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once about halfway through, until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before sampling. Makes 16-20 cookies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. May be frozen.

SONY DSCRicki Heller is the writer behind the popular blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, where you’ll find over 600 low glycemic recipes all free of gluten, dairy and eggs. Her second cookbook, Naturally Sweet and Gluten-Free: 100 Allergy Friendly Vegan Desserts, will be released in September and is now available for preorder on amazon. She is an Associate Editor for Simply Gluten-Free Magazine and Brand Ambassador for Attune Foods. Ricki lives near Toronto with her husband and two dogs. Connect with her on Facebook, twitter,  Pinterest, and Instagram, too!

4 Responses to On-the-Go School Breakfasts–and Breakfast Cookies!

  • Miriam Kearney says:

    I’ve been leaving this comment on several blogs lately. I don’t use Stevia in any form but use xylitol instead. I can figure out the xylitol measure if I know the equivalent sugar. To just say Stevia is not helpful in a recipe. Even if I did use Stevia different brands have different concentrations. Please give a measure that can be used with different sweeteners in your recipes.


    Ricki Heller Reply:

    @Miriam Kearney, Miriam, if it’s pure stevia liquid (like NuNaturals), then the measures are always very close. But that’s why I include “or to your taste” in the recipe. . .everyone prefers a slightly different level of sweetness. I never use xylitol, so I am not able to convert to xylitol for you. Instead of the stevia, you could use another 1/4-1/2 cup coconut sugar, if you prefer.


  • Eva says:

    What can you replace for Oats?


  • Kim says:

    Ricki, These sound delicious, and I love how loaded with goodness they are. My kids love to have cookies for breakfast!


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