Healthy and Smart

It’s Breakfast Time



Let’s be real. How many times can you recall your mom or dad quoting the old and classic statement that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Probably more than your 10 fingers can number. Well, turns out they were right! Recent research indicates that kids who eat a healthy breakfast get more of the critical nutrients their growing bodies need. Making time for breakfast is essential to providing your children with the energy and brain fuel they need to power through the jam-packed school day. Even though letting your kiddos hit the snooze on the morning alarm clock is terribly tempting, wake up those sleepy heads up because it’s breakfast time!  

Batter up to the breakfast table and create these nutritious off-to-school breakfast feasts.

Classic and Quick

  • A cup of high-fiber cereal with milk, paired with a side of pineapple, orange or peach slices
  • A cup of oatmeal topped with chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) and dried fruit (cranberries or raisins) and sprinkled with warm cinnamon spice
  • Whole grain bagel with an ample spread of nut butter topped with banana wedges
  • Scrambled or hard-boiled eggs with a slice of whole grain toast covered with fruit jam

 

Filling and Worth the Extra Effort

  • Breakfast burrito (whole grain tortilla loaded with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, ½ cup black beans and salsa)
  • Egg sandwich (two scrambled eggs on a whole grain English muffin melted with cheese and avocado slices)
  • Plain or fruity yogurt parfait mixed with granola and sweetened with berries and honey

 

Sweet and Satisfying

  • Breakfast cookies made with oats and fruit
  • Whole wheat muffins
  • Whole wheat pancakes or waffles topped with nut butter, honey and berry slices
  • Elvis wrap (peanut butter, bananas and honey stuffed into a whole wheat wrap, which can be served warm or at room temperature)

 

Beneficial Breakfast Tips

  • Get your kiddos involved. Contributing helps boost their confidence.
  • Make it fun and spark creativity. Instead of serving a traditional square piece of toast, take Lisa’s (resident of Overland Park and mom of three) advice: Use cookie cutters to make enjoyable eye-appealing shapes. “My kids can never turn away from their piece of whole grain butterfly toast.”
  • Focus on fiber. Found in all fruits, nuts, cereals and whole grains, fiber will help your kids stay completely full and fully focused throughout the morning.
  • Be bountiful with berries. Antioxidants increase connections between brain cells, thus enhancing learning ability and memory.
  • Think crunch. Offer crunchy foods, such as apple slices, granola and cereal, because all that munching in the morning is a sure way to wake up the brain.
  • Not hungry? Start small and offer a cup of fruit to build an appetite gradually.

 

Overall, make breakfast a family affair. Children with parents who eat breakfast are more likely to eat breakfast themselves. By making breakfast a priority for your family, everyone will reap the benefits, and you may help instill a lifelong healthy habit in your kiddos.

 

Amy Hundley is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, and a published freelance nutrition writer. She is currently practicing as a clinical RD and has been a resident of Olathe since early childhood.

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