Boost Your Brain and Body with Breakfast
“Just 5 minutes more!”
How many of us have hear this plea as we struggle to get the kids out of bed and off to school. Resist the temptation to let them sleep in and rush through breakfast, or worse, skip it completely! All meals matter, but breakfast really can be the most important meal of the day to recharge our bodies after an overnight fast.
Benefits of Eating Breakfast:
- Better school performance. Multiple studies suggest that kids who eat breakfast do better in math and reading and perform better on standardized tests.
- Focus and behavior improvement. Attention, problem-solving skills and behavior tend to be better in those who eat breakfast. After all who can learn and be nice when they’re hangry?
- Healthy habits: Breakfast eaters tend to make better foods choices throughout the day and are less likely to become overweight.
- More nutrition: When a simple breakfast includes a whole grain serving, a dairy serving and a fruit or vegetable serving, kids increase their intake of important vitamins, minerals such as calcium, fiber and protein.
Time: A breakfast barrier or a breakfast opportunity?
School breakfast is a healthy option when the kids aren’t hungry in the morning and breakfast becomes a battle. Consider a healthy breakfast meal at school as an easy alternative to eating at home (just make sure they have money in their school account for meals and milk!)
- Get Back to Simple Basics: Add it Up! Let your family pick what’s for breakfast, the only rule is that breakfast must contain a dairy serving + a fruit (or vegetable) serving + a whole grain serving = a healthy and balanced breakfast, just like our apple cinnamon breakfast bowl.
Tip: Breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, so even cereals with some added sugar can fit into a healthy diet and most have the benefit of fiber. Try mixing half of their favorite sweetened cereal with half of a lower sugar and higher fiber cereal. Aim for cereals with 3 grams of fiber or more per serving.
2. Eggcellent Ideas: No need to get out the frying pan to whip up protein-rich eggs for breakfast. Try make-ahead egg dishes that can be individually wrapped and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick microwavable grab and go breakfast. Here’s a couple of my favorites:
a. Individual mini turkey sausage and egg frittatas made in muffin pans.
b. I like to swap-out the sausage for Canadian bacon or ham in these freezer friendly egg sandwiches.
3. Grab and Go: Smoothies and overnight oats are easy energizers to eat on the run, especially when they can be made in advance!
a. Make ahead freezer smoothies are easy to assemble in advance and store in the freezer. In the morning just add to the blender and go.
b. There’s no fussy morning prep when you make a batch of overnight kefir oats. This recipe uses the fermented dairy product kefir which provides all the health benefits of dairy along with gut friendly probiotics. You can change up this recipe to use your favorite fruit and crunchy nuts, seeds or granola.
4. Wrap and Run: An easy way for you and your child to assemble a quick balanced breakfast.
- Start with a whole grain tortilla or flat bread
- Spread with peanut butter or cream cheese
- Top off with fruit such as bananas, chopped apples or raisins.
- Roll it up and, if desired, slice into pinwheels and serve with a cold glass of milk.