Heather Cupp, a Registered Dietitian working for Riley Hospital, is back for another guest blog sharing her experiences in the morning as a busy mom of two children. We hope that her ideas will you to ensure your childrend have a nutritious breakfast every single day!
The morning rush can be a hectic time of getting everyone ready and out the door. All too often, breakfast is overlooked in this dash to work and school. Children and parents alike skip this vital meal for the sake of saving time and/or having a few extra minutes of sleep. We have all seen and heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research has actually shown that kids perform better in school when they have it. Also, we are better able to maintain our weight when we eat a nutritious breakfast. Think about this: if you are hungry is it easy to concentrate? Are you more likely to overeat or make bad food choices when you do finally eat?
Set a good example for your child by eating breakfast and expecting them to do so as well. We expect them to complete their homework and maintain their grades for their future. Making sure they eat a healthy breakfast can make a difference in their health which, in turn, affects their future. When serving breakfast, try to include many food groups to provide as many key nutrients as possible.
Here are a few ideas to help with breakfast:
- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: Take a packet of cooked plain oatmeal. Add a little brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon & a dollop of canned pumpkin, then mix. Yum! Add a few chopped walnuts or a hard-cooked egg for some protein, 1 cup of low-fat milk to drink & a banana on the side. Voilà! An easy meal with all 5 food groups.
- Let your little one make their own fun breakfast trail mix with partial boxes of cereal, dried fruit & nuts. Try this: 1 cup cheerios with ¼ cup dried cherries & ¼ cup of almonds. Pair this with a glass of low-fat milk for an easy breakfast on the go! Small bags of homemade trail mix can be made in advance for several days of quick & easy breakfasts!
- Leftover pizza can be a healthy alternative to breakfast! 1 slice of veggie or cheese pizza coupled with a fresh apple can provide a variety of nutrients.
- Healthier fast food breakfast? An Egg McMuffin is a healthier alternate to breakfast fast food. Stay away from juice, have apple slices on the side, & again you have 4 of the 5 food groups. The key is to limit higher fat items like biscuits, croissants, bacon & sausage.
- How about an easy yogurt parfait? Try low-fat lemon yogurt with raspberries or vanilla yogurt with diced apples & cinnamon. Add a slice of whole wheat toast or English muffin on the side.
- Last, but definitely not least, is peanut butter & bananas. Use this combo as a topper for bread, tortillas, or English muffins. Add a glass of low-fat milk and once again you have a breakfast of champions!
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