The breakfast of champions: Ramen noodles?

My 9-year-old son hates breakfast foods. If he has to eat breakfast foods, he wants scrambled eggs and bacon, which are not super fast to make on a school morning.

I am so tired of fighting with him about “eat your waffle” or “eat your turkey sausage” that I finally made him his favorite thing in the world for breakfast – Asian noodles.

I used the Ramen noodles ($1.43 for six packs) and added only the touch of flavor package.

Now I am sure I can do a more healthy version by making a cold batch of wheat noodles with a Thai peanut butter sauce but for right now at least he’s getting something in his stomach, and he’s not complaining!

Walsh noted when a friend got to eat noodles for breakfast when she visited China, and he thought that was the greatest thing in the world.

My girlfriend says that she regularly makes her middle child vegetable soup for breakfast. She likes it. It’s pretty good for her. It’s fast! Done!

What are some great breakfast alternatives that you serve to kids that don’t like oatmeal or grits or frozen waffles? I’m looking for things that provide protein and some carbs without sugar. (I usually give fruit with whatever they are eating.) I am thinking Edamame, cheese sticks or prosciutto-wrapped melon (but it’s expensive). Other thoughts?

75 comments Add your comment

DB

August 20th, 2012
12:26 am

Ramen noodles take 5 minutes to get the water to boiling, and then have to cook for 3 minutes. Allow a couple of minute for cool-down. Why do you think making eggs and bacon is so much more time-consuming? It takes 2-3 minutes to microwave a couple of slices of bacon, and less than 5 minutes to scramble an egg.

The ramen noodles aren’t exactly nutritious — if he eats the whole package, that’s over 1700 mg of sodium, and it’s 32% fat. You could jazz it up by slowly adding an egg to it while it’s cooking and make a version of egg drop soup. :-)

Does he like fruit smoothies? My kids used to love fresh banana strawberry smothies — I’d freeze ‘em so they’d be icy, or buy a package of them in the frozen food section, add ice and milk, and presto, done. I’d also make cheese biscuits, or some kind of fruit muffin. Every once in a while, they’d take a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich with them if they were running late.

BehindEnemyLines

August 20th, 2012
1:26 am

While I think I get Ramen done in the microwave a little quicker than DB, I think he/she is onto something. Zap the bacon for a minute or so, scrambled eggs in a coffee cup in the microwave takes under 2 minutes (plus crack & beat time). On the whole, that’s pretty quick vs even a piece of toast.

malleesmom

August 20th, 2012
6:58 am

I have a child who also likes Asian noodles, though she’s never asked for them at breakfast. I too use only a portion of the seasoning packet and throw in frozen veggies (extra chicken too if I have it). Done. As for non-traditional breakfast I’m pretty open; dinner leftovers are fine. Even a pb&j works as long as they include milk and fruit. I will say by age 9, my kids make their own breakfast. I just make sure there are options available. I make muffins in batches and freeze them. If Walsh wants eggs, make them ahead of time in a muffin tin and then he can reheat them throughout the week. If you’re worried about too many eggs, shift to more whites than yolks. Breakfast is pretty simple. See what he comes up with on his own.

shaggy

August 20th, 2012
7:22 am

DB

Microwaving bacon???? I don’t care how fast it nukes it to greasy goodness that is just sacrilege.

Bacon, only the good stuff…NEVER Oscar Meyer, MUST be pan fried in an iron skillet to a crackly crunch…never burnt. The drippings can be reserved for an extra artery clogging deliciousness when cooking the eggs, or just use some EVOO and be “healthy”.

As for Ramen Noodles, Walsh needs to get used to these at an early age, as this will be the only thing, besides boxed Kraft mac -n- cheese, that he will have the knowledge to deal with, or the motivation to learn how to cook until well into his 30’s…maybe his 40’s. However, he will be so “connected” to technology, he will be able to think his way to pizza delivery, which will happen often.
That is the male law

motherjanegoose

August 20th, 2012
8:06 am

@shaggy, I do not own an iron skillet…guess I have been doing it wrong all these years. Mom nor Grandma never had one either but they never fried chicken either as they were all yankees.

My two were not breakfast eaters. Sometimes PB toast with a banana. They mostly drank carnation instant breakfast. It was easy and quick for them. Fast forward to my son living in his apartment and he began fixing his own 3 egg omelet with fresh spinach or red peppers. Who knew? He ate a granola bar and drank power ade for lunch, on the run. My daughter is still rarely up for breakfast here. I LOVE breakfast and especially like it at the hotels, when I do not have to cook.

homeschooler

August 20th, 2012
8:17 am

I fed my kids Ramen Noodles for the first time about a year ago. My son was 11 and when he said he had never eaten them I wondered if I was the best mom ever or the worst. How could you have never had Ramen Noodles in 11 yrs??
I grew up eating them with chopped baloney. My mom was from Hawaii so she ate all that nasty stuff. Asian noodles, baloney, Spam..ugh…
My son has grown to love the noodles but my daughter hates them. I’m with those who say to add in a little egg, ham, veggies etc.. Who cares if he eats them for breakfast.
Speaking of Hawaii, I just got back from there and every breakfast place we went to had fried rice on the menu so, why not noodles.

I cook bacon in the oven. cook the whole pack at a time. lay the slices out of a foil covered cookie sheet. put the pan in a cool oven and set the oven to 400 degrees. About 17-20 minutes and the bacon is cooked perfect, flat and you just throw the foil away. Do it on the weekend so it can easily be reheated through the week. I also cook one egg in a little pyrex dish in the microwave. scramble, add a dash of milk, cook for about a minute. done. Bacon and eggs can be really easy.

My kids like ham and cheese rolled in crescent rolls and baked. You could do this with eggs and bacon too. They are great reheated.

Another great thing is english muffin pizzas. Just a dab of sauce and some mozzarella cheese on whole grain english muffins. My daughter loves any kind of pizza for breakfast.

Sometimes in a real pinch I give my son graham crackers with p-nut butter and a glass of milk. He doesn’t usually like toast so this works on those running out the door mornings when there is no time to fix anything.

motherjanegoose

August 20th, 2012
8:26 am

@homeschooler, how does he like school? I love Hawaii but it is way too far for me. We have been 3 times. Some cultures eat fish for breakfast and that is something I am not interested in, unless it is lox and bagels…yum. TWG I sent you an e-mail. Did you get it?

C.A.

August 20th, 2012
8:50 am

My kids loved chicken noodle soup for breakfast with either a grilled cheese or PBJ. One kid was a “no breakfast, don’t talk to me, leave me alone” until mid-morning, but even he could be persuaded to eat with this menu.

JOD

August 20th, 2012
8:56 am

The very idea of ramen noodles for breakfast makes me queasy. Unless it is a no-cook option like cereal or PB and fruit, I don’t think I would be taking orders for breakfast.

I like malleesmom’s suggestion – you can make eggs with cheese, veggies, ham, whatever, in a muffin tin and cupcake liners, then he can microwave those during the week. But really, eggs are fast, and precooked bacon works fine. Hubs also makes pancakes or waffles or the weekend, and we eat them during the week.

@homeschooler – That’s how I do bacon, too. So much easier!

Voice of Reason

August 20th, 2012
8:58 am

Ah yes Ramen Noodles, inexpensive and easy food of champions. I remember you could buy a whole case of them for like $1.00. I ate them so much during my college years that the mere though of eating them now turns my stomach. It’s been 12 years since I graduated from college too.

motherjanegoose

August 20th, 2012
9:11 am

@Voice…that is how I feel about Mc Donald’s as that was the only place open when I got off of work at Wal Mart. I could write them off of my list forever…it is not an option when I am in the car…haha !
I am also not a big fan of popcorn as this was about the only snack we made in our dorms. That was in the stone ages when microwaves were not even invented. We had the old popcorn makers and a toaster…period. Pop tarts and popcorn was about it. Ever made a grilled cheese sandwich with and iron?

Dennis

August 20th, 2012
9:11 am

Humans are the only species so hung up about having a certain type of food for breakfast. There’s no other species that’s determined it’s only OK to eat cake (muffins, waffles and pancakes) and certain types of meats and eggs for breakfast.

Any food that can be served at any meal is fair game for breakfast. In the past year I’ve had smoked meats, salad, kale, greens, bacon, eggs made many ways, leftovers, deli meat – whatever I can find on a given day.

I would be worried about the big crash in blood sugar that would come after a meal of noodles for breakfast. Then again – at our elementary school they insist on giving the kids a snack 90 minutes after school starts (and lunch before noon). When I was a kid, you had breakfast in the morning, lunch, and no meals in between at school.

Protein and fat are what’s needed in the morning, without fail.

I’ll second baking bacon – although I go lower temperature and slower (300-325 for about an hour). Cook a whole package at once and reheat to serve quickly.

homeschooler

August 20th, 2012
9:14 am

@ MJG. Thanks for asking. He’s doing very well. A bit of anxiety surrounding figuring out exactly what each teacher expects but I’d expect that of any child just going into middle school. He’s never really had a teacher and suddenly he has 7. :-) Overall he’s doing great.

motherjanegoose

August 20th, 2012
9:30 am

@homeschooler…great news! My daughter still has a bit of anxiety when she is starting anew semester but this is life isn’t it? I have anxiety myself, when I am working with a new client!

Father Christmas

August 20th, 2012
9:54 am

Eggs? Bacon? Waffles? Grits? Oatmeal? On a schoolday? Give the kid a bowl of cold cereal with milk and a glass of juice and tell him if he doesn’t eat it he’ll be hungry until lunch. End of story. Cooking breakfast on weekdays for a spoiled kid – won’t happen in my house.

RJ

August 20th, 2012
9:55 am

Funny, just telling my daughter yesterday as she picked up a box of Ramen noodles, that I’d never had them until I met her dad. My mom always cooked. Me, I’ll microwave anything lol! My son loves Ramen noodles,however when I found out the sodium content, I made him use only half the package. I never buy them, but my mother in law will get them for him. That’s not very often though. At one time, he was using the seasoning packet AND season salt?! I had no idea that my sister in law had taught him this. Um, no way!

If you can get them to eat, give it to him. Who says you have to have eggs for breakfast. Let him have noodles!

homeschooler

August 20th, 2012
10:02 am

@ Father Christmas. My kids have never eaten cereal for breakfast. I was extremely hypoglycemic as a child and an hour after eating cereal or any “carb only” kind of breakfast I was shaking like a leaf and totally disoriented. Ever since I cringe at the thought of all these kids sitting in math class with nothing but high sugar carbs to go on.
Kids need protein!
A packet of grits and a frozen turkey sausage or a whole grain frozen waffle with p-nut butter is just as easy to make as a bowl of cereal.
My kids eat cereal as an afternoon snack. Never for breakfast.

oneofeach4me

August 20th, 2012
10:18 am

@homeschooler ~ I too cook my pork bacon in the oven as it comes out not too crispy, but not soggy and greasy either. I actually use the broiler pan (the one with the slits that has the pan under it) so that the grease can drip down. I cook my turkey bacon in the microwave during the week, and in an iron skillet with EVOO on the weekends.

@TWG ~ I say if you are gonna let him eat noodles for bfast, use some of the ideas posted of adding in the egg and make sure to use only a little, no more than half, of that seasoning packet. I LOVE homeschooler’s idea of the croissants. I think I will do that one night this week as you can cook them all at once and then just pop them in the microwave to reheat. My kids aren’t big on biscuits but they LOVE croissants so that will work out well! Also, depending on what Walsh likes, my son is 6 and is old enough to either get his own cereal, or, put a piece of bread in the toaster and spread on some Nutella. He loves oatmeal but I have to do that for him as the bowl gets pretty hot in the microwave. Good luck!

FCM

August 20th, 2012
10:27 am

Cook all the bacon on the weekend, then just warm it on the school day.

my favorite things to eat for breakfast are left over pizza or left over chinese. Walsh will be fine.

FCM

August 20th, 2012
10:28 am

1 of each, i cook my bacon on the oven on a cookie cooling rack…the kind that looks like a grid…

oneofeach4me

August 20th, 2012
10:30 am

@FCM ~ that is also a good idea, I will have to try that. Do you put it over a cookie sheet to catch the grease?

Father Christmas

August 20th, 2012
10:30 am

An entire generation grew up eating cereal and milk for breakfast – good cereal not sweetened junk – and didn’t have near the behavioral problems that are observed in schools now. Kids are coddled too much today. And – ADD, hypoglycemia, gluten sensitivities, peanut allergies, etc., are overdiagnosed and blamed on everything. These entities do exist but they are extremely rare – nowhere near the number of kids have them as we are led to believe.

Metro Coach

August 20th, 2012
10:47 am

@Father Christmas- I read a joke recently that said 1% of the population is allergic to gluten and the other 99% are tired of hearing about it.

Erin

August 20th, 2012
10:51 am

I grew up on bacon and eggs for breakfast! I rarely had anything else … unless it was sausage and eggs. Usually also some toast. My mom was a BIG believer in eating something hot, cooked at home, before school. Only occasionally would I talk her into doing waffles or French toast.

As for what I eat for breakfast now? Breakfast tacos are great. Grits, oatmeal work, too. Honestly, as long as the kid’s eating something and it’s relatively good for them, I wouldn’t get all worked up about it.

Tiger Ochocinco Cougar Mellencamp Johnson

August 20th, 2012
10:54 am

My original post is “awaiting moderation”…I guess because I included websites that back up my numbers….but here goes without the hyperlinks….

861 mg sodium for one packet of ramen noodles. Why don’t you just put a salt lick on his plate in the morning?

While I’m sure you sleep pretty well at night knowing that you have averted giving Walsh diabetes by making him avoid all those vile sugar products….how are you going to feel when he’s diagnosed with hypertension after allowing him to consume 57% of what the CDC suggests as the maximum amount of daily sodium intake?…………for breakfast

why not?

August 20th, 2012
11:03 am

Whole wheat noodles with an egg on top sounds pretty good to me.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 20th, 2012
11:26 am

Tiger –that’s with the seasoning mix — he’s getting the tiniest sprinkle. I don’t think it’s that’s bad without the mix. the bacon would be higher in sodium than what I am giving him. I asked him about mixing in the egg, he said no but maybe we’ll try.

I used to do the eggs in the muffin tins and they ate them for a while but then said they didn’t like them. He won’t eat cold cereal or oatmeal. he doesn’t like it. I do think that breakfast is important. I have been cooking him an egg and turkey sausage for the last year and am tired of doing it. I am trying to get three kids out the door at the same time. the girls will eat frozen waffles or oatmeal and are happy. The ramen noodles are easier than making an egg. you throw it in boiling water. little clean up and no attending it.

Kat

August 20th, 2012
11:34 am

I think we’ve learned more in the last couple of decades that cereal with milk (though it does provide calories) is not exactly well-rounded. I don’t think making breakfast for a kid who cannot cook should be considered cooking for a “spoiled brat.” That “spoiled brat” is your kid(s) who will (hopefully for you) help take care of you when you break your hip. Fortunately, your kid won’t due to years and years of calcium in their milk.

When in doubt, Carnation Instant Breakfast – they come via packets and pre-made for those “spoiled brat” mornings.

Deanna

August 20th, 2012
11:34 am

Tuna or peanut butter sandwiches are a good source of protein and healthy carbs if you use 100% whole grain bread. A low-fat cheese sandwich would work as well!

Kat

August 20th, 2012
11:37 am

If you’re a SAHM, is it a big deal to cook your kids’ breakfast? I mean, once they get on the bus, aren’t they gone for a while – and you have the satisfaction of knowing they had as good a breakfast as you could make them?

I also think it’s critical to send kids to school with a positive vibe. If everyone’s yelling and screaming and complaining, it doesn’t start the day out well for anyone. So, if they don’t eat breakfast for a couple of days, they will certainly eat all their lunch, dinner, and probably come around pretty quickly on the whole breakfast idea.

HB

August 20th, 2012
11:37 am

Theresa, what does he eat the rest of the day? Can he eat dinner leftovers for breakfast? Or a sandwich?

Father Christmas

August 20th, 2012
11:37 am

If “he” is not allergic to it, sensitive to it, or limited in having it because of a health condition, avoiding cold cereal because “he doesn’t like it” doesn’t hold water. He’s 9, you’re the mom with limited time in the morning, here’s your bowl of cheerios, kid.

Father Christmas

August 20th, 2012
11:39 am

Have you been down the cereal aisle lately? Out of the HUNDREDS of choices, there’s got to be something he likes.

Judge Smails

August 20th, 2012
11:39 am

Mine, 13 and 17, eat toasted english muffins with either peanut butter or jelly and a large glass of milk. Quick and easy with very little mess.

I am also sick of hearing about the gluten people. Give it a rest already.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

August 20th, 2012
11:52 am

he’ll always take a pBJ for breakfast or lunch — I am trying to send different stuff for lunch — sometimes yogurt, sometimes the edamame, often sandwiches, rose is going to get caprese salad — the mini mozzarella balls with tomatoes — trying to mix it up

Michelle

August 20th, 2012
11:54 am

My daughter does not like any breakfast foods aside from some ceral. Some of her breakfast options are turkey/ham sandwich, Ravoli, chicken nuggets, frozen pizza basically anything one would eat for luch she will fix for her breakfast. She has always eaten as she says lunch food for breakfast.

missnadine

August 20th, 2012
12:12 pm

Ramen noodles are disgusting at any time of the day. You don’t hold a job outside the home. How it is possible that you run out of time in the morning?

HB

August 20th, 2012
12:19 pm

If he likes PB&J for breakfast, then problem solved. You can even make it the night before. Why work at trying to get him to eat turkey sausage or waffles or something? That’s not healthier for him. If he wants it every morning, so be it. There are two other meals each day when you can mix things up. Mornings are frantic enough — take the easy route.

DB

August 20th, 2012
12:24 pm

@Kat — that’s kinda what I was thinking, too. If she was running off to a job she had to be at by 8:00, I could see the frustration with time, but otherwise . . . hmm.

My mother worked full time, but she fixed breakfast for our family every morning — eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice, milk (and a vitamin when she was on a health kick.) Occasionally, we got pancakes or French toast (yuuum!). After breakfast, we cleared the table, helped with the cleanup (didn’t take long, maybe three or four minutes), It was a routine. And if we didn’t like breakfast, oh, well, it’s a long time until lunch. Finally, my senior year, I informed my mother that I would no longer be eating breakfast, because I didn’t “need” it and wanted the 15 minutes extra sleep. After about a month, I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired and dragging, it took me that long to put two and two together. Finally, one night, I told Mom that I thought I might like to join them for breakfast the next morning. She said “OK”, and to her credit, she didn’t grin knowingly :-)

T, don’t let yourself sucked into becoming a short-order cook. Maybe sit down with the kids and come up with a weekly breakfast menu and say, “this is it, no arguments and no second guessing”. That way, you can plan ahead and maybe streamline breakfast a little more — or even have them begin putting breakfast together on their own, since they know what’s on the menu.

jarvis

August 20th, 2012
12:34 pm

I’ve never been a breakfast eater. Not something I’ve ever been particularly into.

I’ll eat a piece of fruit most mornings, but that’s really just buying into the “most-important meal of the day” montra. I’m generally just happy with some coffee.

MomsRule

August 20th, 2012
12:35 pm

I cook/prepare breakfast every school morning for my kids, bacon and eggs, breakfast burritos, fresh muffins, etc. Sometimes its just homemade cinnamon bread with fruit but every school morning I make them breakfast. Most weekends they are on their own for breakfast.

It isn’t difficult and doesn’t take very long to make a good breakfast that doesn’t come from Leggo.

I think the key is that I wake before my children, enjoy my morning coffee and have breakfast on the table waiting for them. They wake to their own alarms, shower and come to the kitchen. Very simple, no chaos. 99% of the time I decide what they are having based upon what I feel like preparing that morning (I know what they do and don’t like). Occasionally I will ask the evening before if they have a preference.

Our morning routine is very calm and organized. Just the way Mom likes it :)

DB

August 20th, 2012
12:57 pm

Just an observation: If you’re finding mornings chaotic, don’t turn on the TV. Lots of families complain about chaotic mornings, but they might find that if they remove the major distraction of the TV, things fall into place pretty peacefully.

Beaver

August 20th, 2012
1:11 pm

Enter your comments here

Kat

August 20th, 2012
1:15 pm

@DB: Our mornings got MUCH easier at our home once we set the “no TV” directive down.

If Walsh is hungry, he WILL eat what you give him. Perhaps fewer snacks after dinner will make him hungrier in the morning? If not, well, I guess you just have to step up and be the mom! If he has this kind of “control” over you at this age, I don’t foresee things getting much better, do you?

Beaver Cleaver's Mom

August 20th, 2012
1:20 pm

I get up at 4 AM every day, take a bath, fix my hair, put on a nice dress and pearls and sensible shoes, go to the kitchen, put an apron on, grind the beans for coffee, squeeze some fresh oranges for juice, make biscuits from scratch, cook up some bacon, slice the bread for toast, cut up various kinds of fruit into a beautiful fruit cup, make perfect 3-minute eggs, and serve it all on my everyday china to my loving husband and adoring children. Yes, at our house, it’s 1958 every day.

Father Christmas

August 20th, 2012
1:22 pm

If “lunch” and “dinner” food isn’t offered for breakfast, kids will not demand it. Ravioli? Chicken nuggets? Frozen pizza? Really?

DB

August 20th, 2012
1:37 pm

@Beaver’s Mom: What time do you serve breakfast, 4:30? You must be doing something wrong if it takes you three hours to make breakfast!

Beaver Cleaver's Mom

August 20th, 2012
1:48 pm

It takes a while for me to get ready and dressed for breakfast. Three hours, four hours , I don’t care about the time – I have all day! I’m just the perfect mom from the past. And all my food is black-and-white!

motherjanegoose

August 20th, 2012
2:02 pm

My mother never worked outside the home, after I was born…almost 53 years ago. She stopped fixing us breakfast when I was in the 3rd grade. My sister was in Kinder. She claimed she was tired of the morning fuss, so she stayed in bed. I am not making this up. We were on our own and walked a few blocks to catch the bus. I also put my youngest sister on the bus for her first day of Kinder. Mom did not show up. I was heading to college and she was heading to Kinder.

I was up with mine all through MS and then once they hit HS, it varied. This was due to the fact that they are NOT morning people and not breakfast eaters. I typically did not have to get up at 5:45. I would set my alarm for 6;15 and if they were not up, I could then run them to school if they missed the bus. Rarely happened. I did drive them in for clubs etc. Once they started driving themselves, I did not get up. Give me the BAD Mom award…haha! They also knew how to set their own alarms at college. Some Moms called their kids ( at college) to get them up. Not me.

Dennis

August 20th, 2012
2:19 pm

@Kat – Carnation Instant Breakfast, 19g of Sugar per serving? Not far behind Coca-Cola.