I am not going to lie, mornings at our house are not always pretty. In fact, most days, you are more likely to find me digging through a basket of unfolded laundry looking for a pair of boxers or reminding son number 4 to charge his computer, than scrambling eggs or flipping pancakes. That being said, breakfast is also non-negotiable, no one walks out the door without something in his belly. Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast, (hence the name break-fast) and when we skip it, we are essentially running on empty. Sadly though, on average, 12-34% of children and teens miss breakfast on a regular basis.

WHY IS BREAKFAST SO IMPORTANT?

A balanced breakfast helps boost brainpower, improve memory and concentration, provides essential nutrients (fiber, iron, calcium, protein) and helps maintain a steady flow of energy. In addition, for the student athlete, breakfast is essential in helping tired muscles recover from the previous day’s practice and get ready to do it all over again…

HEALTHY BREAKFAST TIPS

Starting the day with a PROTEIN PACKED, CARBOHYDRATE RICH meal can be a game changer both in the classroom and on the field. If your kids are like mine, breakfast is eaten on the run and has to be PORTABLE! I pulled together some examples of quick and easy breakfast ideas that may help get your child fed and out the door. Including a serving of fruit at breakfast is key to helping reach the minimum goal of at least 5 servings of produce per day. My kids love applesauce squeeze pouches, just be sure to check the label and avoid those with added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

GRAB AND GO BREAKFAST IDEAS

Waffles and peanut butter (FYI, frozen waffles are a great source of calcium)

Greek yogurt with granola

Hard-boiled eggs and a healthy granola bar

(GRANOLA BAR TIPS: Opt for bars lower in sugar and higher in protein/fiber such as: Kind, Cliff, Luna and Detour Smart bars)img_0578

Egg Cups in a whole wheat wrap

Home made muffins with almond butter

Baggie of homemade trail mix with cereal, nuts and dried fruit

Overnight oatmeal

Leftovers from Dinner

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread

Single serving cup of peanut butter and sliced apple

Mini bagels with peanut butter or cream cheese

Single serving cottage cheese and blueberries

Cereal and milk

CEREAL TIPS: Select cereals with more than 5 grams of fiber and less than 6 grams of sugar. Combining cereals is a great way to decrease sugar content. For example, mixing Honey Nut Cheerios with regular Cheerios “dilutes” the sugar.

The bottom line is to get something into their belly! Although not ideal, something is always better than nothing. Talk with your kids, see what they agree to eat and if possible, prepare as much as you can the night before.

To Your Health – Noreen