I always like to include some simple recipes in my Get Your Badge guides. Cooking with kids is a tricky endeavour so I aim for low-stress ideas and you can always skip that section if you want. However, sometimes a badge cannot be done without completing a cooking session. The Breakfast Badge takes this a step further, it cannot be completed without completing several sessions. Fortunately, breakfast is the easiest meal to experiment with and it can be a lot of fun too. If your children (like mine) are resistant to the idea of trying something different first thing in the morning, most of the Squirrels favoured foods work at lunchtime too.
In case you need a reminder, here are the Squirrels preferred breakfast foods:
- Cereal (Betty)
- Pancakes (Happy)
- Kippers (Roly)
- Shakshouka (Norrie)
- Toast (Tag)
I have structured this badge a little differently to my other guides. I have included an activity and/or a recipe for each of the Squirrels. At the bottom of the page, you will find my top recommendations for kids’ cookbooks and storybooks with a breakfast theme.
Perfect Cereal for Betty
Cereal is the breakfast of choice for my children and for Betty. Betty is probably more conscientious about picking healthy cereals than my two though. Luckily they have me to check the salt and sugar levels. Seriously, they can be really bad, make sure you check.
Climbing down from my high horse about sugar in cereal, we all know the best thing to do with rice crispies or corn flakes is to make unhealthy chocolate treats by melting chocolate and butter and covering the cereal to make little snacks. If anyone has any tips for doing this with dairy-free chocolate please let me know.
High-Flying Pancakes with Happy
Pancakes are a goto in our house when we’ve run out of bread for lunches. We’re usually traditional with our toppings (lemon and sugar) but you can get really creative with healthy alternatives. All of the cookbooks and websites below have their own suggestions for how to make pancakes but the basic and best recipe is:
- 100g flour
- 2 eggs
- 300ml milk
- Plenty of oil
Pancake Top Tips
1. Plain flour is traditional but self-raising gives you a fluffier pancake.
2. In my humble opinion, oat milk (dairy-free) pancakes taste better than cow milk.
3. If you can wait, leave the mixture to rest for half an hour before cooking.
4. Use a brush to get an even covering of oil.
Always try and flip at least one, because that’s really what makes making pancakes a piece of theatre. Just not the first because that’s the one that sticks to the pan.
Useful Pancake Resources
- The Hey Duggee website has a recipe and instructions for making Duggee shaped blueberry pancakes.
- Pancake Pile Up game – I haven’t played this game but when I was researching pancakes for kids it kept popping up as a good game for children between 4 and 6. It’s an active relay race game which introduces the idea of sequencing to pre-schoolers.
- For more Duggee pancake action check out The Honey Badge.
Roly Catches Kippers
Kippers are whole herring, traditionally eaten at breakfast. Think your children won’t eat kippers? I’m all for getting kids to try new things but kippers are a hard sell even though they love eating fish. Luckily the Hey Duggee website has you covered with a fruity alternative to kippers.
My alternative suggestion for this part of the breakfast badge is a game. You can buy plenty of magnetic fishing games. We have the bug version of this one from Melissa and Doug:
To go fishing like Roly’s Grandad, I made my own magnetic fishing game out of things I found around the house. The only tricky items you will need are the magnets themselves. We have lots of letter fridge magnets and the kids have games with magnets in so I was able to gather materials easily.
The will need:
- Flat magnets (fridge letters are ideal)
- Long magnets
- Paper (I recycled a catalogue)
- Scissors and sticky tape
- Cut fish shapes out of paper.
- Tape the flat magnets to the fish.
- Tie one end of the string to the long magnet and the other to the pencil.
That’s it, you’re ready to play.
Norrie Likes Spicy Breakfast
Shakshouka (or shakshuka) is most commonly eaten in North Africa and the Middle East. It is traditionally eaten at breakfast in Isreal but elsewhere it is popular at any time of day. I have never eaten shakshouka for breakfast but it is an incredibly tasty dinner. I cannot imagine my fussy children ever being tricked into eating something with veg, spice and eggs in it but if you want to give it a go you could try these recipes:
- The recipe I usually make is from a Simply Cook subscription box. These boxes come with simple instructions and pre-mixed spices. To try a free box use my referral link: Simply Cook.
- The Hey Duggee website has a recipe for Shakshouka too.
- The BBC Food website has several more recipes if neither of these takes your fancy.
If your children won’t eat anything more exciting than a fish finger, you can still use Norrie’s dish as a jumping-off point for exploring World foods with some imaginative play. The ingredients for a shakshouka can commonly be found in most plastic or wooden food sets. If your missing some then try drawing them and cutting them out. The ingredients you need are:
Put the ingredients in a pan to cook then crack the eggs on top.
We like these fruit and veg sets but there are lots of similar options:
Energy Toast for Tag
Tag likes to have jam on toast for breakfast. The Jam Badge has more ideas for yummy jams on toast but if you are looking for a healthier option then check these ideas out:
- This healthy, silly toast from InstruPix is easy and a lot of fun.
- There are some beautiful healthy toasts on this post from The Almond Eater.
Breakfast with Duggee and Friends
If some of the Squirrels preferred breakfasts don’t appeal then why not try something from another one of Duggee’s friends:
- Cheese, cold meats and bread (Tino).
- Fruit salad (Hennie).
- Tea (King Tiger).
- Churros (Mr Crab).
- Arepas (Nigel).
- Porridge (Lord Fingal).
- Steamed rice, miso soup, grilled fish, pastries, eggs, bananas, fruit, sausages, ham, noodles and chocolate milk (Hatsu).
I have also put together a Pinterest board full of breakfast ideas.
Here are some of my favourite kids recipe books that have extensive breakfast sections:
- The Tickle Fingers Cookbook has a recipe for Baked Pancakes for Happy. They class it as one for budding cooks (medium difficulty). These pancakes do not need to be flipped, so you won’t have to test your skills like Happy’s mum and kids can do the whole thing themselves. This book has excellent allergy information and highlights the skills that children will use making this recipe. There are six different breakfast recipes which range in difficulty from easy peasy to for confident chefs.
- The Cookbooks themed around Julia Donaldson’s books have a section for breakfasts. The Room on the Broom and Gruffalo Crumble both have breakfast sections with pancakes that Happy would love. Click here for Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes and click here for The Room on the Broom Cookbook.
- The Kids Only Cookbook has a section for Morning Munchies which includes cereal for Betty (Fruity Rice Puffs) and pancakes for Happy (No Recipe Pancakes). There are also five other breakfast recipes for your Squirrels to try which range in difficulty from to easy to not too tricky.