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Ask A San Francisco Expert: Easy Breakfast Meals For Kids

By Melanie Graysmith

Breakfast with the kids can be enjoyable family time or stressed and rushed with picky eaters who seemingly won't eat anything served, or anywhere in-between. While other factors can make breakfast with the kids run smoothly, no doubt yummy and nutritious, kid-friendly foods take top scores. Read on for easy to prepare, kid pleasing recipe know-how from one San Francisco chef expert, and a mother too.

Nichole Accettola Nichole Accettola (credit: credit: Stine Christiansen)
Chef Nichole Accettola

Chef Nichole Accettola is owner of Kantine, a small Scandinavian food business based in San Francisco currently best known for its Danish-style sprouted rye bread sold at small grocers and shops throughout the city. In early 2018 Kantine will expand into a brick and mortar restaurant inspired by the cuisines of Scandinavia, and serve breakfast, brunch, and lunch. Before then, be sure to check out her enticing pop ups here.

Chef Accettola grew up in Ohio and cooked for several years in Boston. She then moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where she lived for more than fifteen years and studied the wholesome and hearty modern Nordic cooking Kantine will offer. Kantine – the Danish word for canteen -- comes from Scandinavia where most workplaces have a gathering spot for workers to get a nourishing lunch and enjoy time with fellow workers. While Chef Accettola gained knowledge of Scandinavian cuisines, she also worked on a citywide food program geared toward improving the food served at all public day care and pre-school facilities. Chef Accettola's primary job was to create and combine simple recipes to promote a balanced and healthy diet. With her experienced approach to healthy eating, and with kids in mind, the following four recipes are examples of Chef Accettola's delicious and no-fuss attitude toward breakfast.

Banana Pancakes

Crispy edges and fluffy on the inside, these pancakes are a breakfast kid pleaser. If you have a particularly busy morning ahead of you, the dry ingredients can be measured and whisked together the night before.

Makes about 8 - 4-inch pancakes


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for sautéing banana slices
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • Maple syrup, as topping


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, stir egg, vanilla, milk and butter together, and pour into dry ingredients.
  2. Whisk together until just combined.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add a touch of butter to lubricate pan.
  5. Place 4 banana slices in pan and spoon 1 ½ Tbsp batter on top of each slice, cook until edges are dry.
  6. Flip and cooked through, about 1 minute more, adding a tad more butter if necessary.
  7. Transfer pancakes to plate and cover to keep warm.
  8. Repeat with remaining bananas and batter.
  9. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Related: Ask A Bay Area Expert: School Lunches To Prepare In 10 Minutes Or Less

Swiss Cheese and Ham Tartine

A tartine is a toasted open-faced sandwich. While this recipe uses Swiss cheese, other cheeses can be used instead, just be sure to choose one that melts well; Cheddar, Monterey Jack and Gruyere are suggested.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-ounce sliced country ham
  • 1 large (1/2-inch thick) slice bread from rustic or sourdough loaf
  • 1-ounce sliced Swiss cheese


  1. Preheat oven broiler.
  2. Place bread slice on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
  3. Top with ham and cheese slices.
  4. Broil for 2-3 minutes, not too close to the heat, and just until it is nicely browned.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. *Older kids, adolescents and young teens may enjoy making the following two recipes themselves, with a parent close by if needed

Skillet Granola and Yogurt

This granola can be made in a whiz, since there's no waiting for the oven to preheat. The sesame seeds get toasted as the granola is made and add a wonderful nutty flavor.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 tablespoon raisins


  1. Heat butter and honey in small nonstick skillet over moderate heat, and stir until fully melted.
  2. Stir in sesame seeds and cook until golden, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add oats and continue to stir until oats are aromatic and lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Spread granola evenly on baking tray to cool. (The granola will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days.)
  5. To serve, put yogurt in a small bowl, spoon granola over, and sprinkle with raisins.

Related: Cooking Ideas For Kids From North Bay Chefs

Breakfast Oats with Raspberries

This breakfast is perfect for hassle-free mornings. The oats are soaked in the refrigerator overnight, and then topped off with fresh fruit, yogurt and a touch of honey the following day. The soaked oats will keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, so soak a larger quantity if you'd like to have breakfast for more than one day.


  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries, or other fresh, seasonal fruit
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Stir oats and water together in an airtight container, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. To serve, spoon the oats into a bowl and top with dollop of yogurt.
  3. Garnish with raspberries and drizzle with honey.
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