On harried, hurried school mornings, it may seem sugary cereal with milk is the easiest breakfast option.
The truth: It doesn’t take long to serve a healthy breakfastâ€”and the benefits are well worth the effort.
Studies show that kids who eat a healthy breakfast tend to have better school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches in the morning, according to Toby Smithson, a registered dietitiannutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Their overall test scores are better, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination,” Smithson says. “Children who eat breakfast are also less likely to be overweight and more likely to get enough calcium.”
But simply eating breakfast is not enough. It has to be a healthy breakfast.
This is even more important if you’re battling any blood sugar problems, which my older daughter and I do. If we don’t eat a protein-rich breakfast, we run the risk of literally passing out. Not fun. Even if you don’t suffer from blood sugar issues, many nutritionists will tell you protein is the star of any breakfast recipe.
Delicious Protein-Rich Breakfasts Include:
Fried or soft-boiled egg, whole-grain toast and fruit or avocado slices
Scrambled egg with cheese, topped with salsa, sometimes wrapped in a tortilla
Instant plain grits with shredded low-fat cheddar cheese and soy bacon bits
Cheese toast or whole-grain muffin or bagel half with fruit on the side
Frozen whole-grain blueberry waffle topped with peanut butter
Peanut butter toast with banana
Fruit smoothies or green smoothies (the older daughter includes plenty of protein, with some combination of milk, yogurt, protein powder or peanut butter)
Low-fat yogurt, topped with granola
Lean turkey on toast or a whole-grain English muffin, with a slice of tomato or avocado
Oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit and chopped nuts or peanut butter
Almond butter on whole-grain toast, muffin or waffle
If your kids don’t like breakfast foodsâ€”or get bored with themâ€”let them eat a sandwich or leftovers. Anything is fine if it’s healthy food. Encourage them to fix their ownâ€”and to avoid prepackaged, processed foods as much as possible.
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