The first meal of the day shouldn’t get lost in the back-to-school rush. Kids need a healthy breakfast that includes fiber, protein and calcium. A little planning can help you kick off the school year on a positive note.
4 Tips to consider when making a school day healthy breakfast:
1. Include protein and calcium.
Protein will help keep kids feeling full and energized, so add eggs to your morning routine. They’re protein champions. Hard-boil them ahead of time if you don’t have time to cook in the morning. Low-fat Greek yogurt is also an excellent breakfast choice because it’s high in protein and calcium. But don’t confuse it with sweetened, flavored yogurt, which can have more sugar than a scoop of ice cream. Try adding berries or chopped fruit to plain yogurt instead.
2. Get your fiber.
Oatmeal and other whole grains can be a good source of fiber. Fruit is also loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Whole fresh fruit is a great choice at breakfast. Slice open a grapefruit or chop up a pear. Apples and bananas can make mornings easier when you’re short on prep time.
3. Drink up.
Try to limit fruit juices and steer clear of energy drinks, especially those with a lot of sugar. Some contain as much sugar as soda — not a good way to start the morning. Water or low-fat milk will help kiddos rehydrate in a healthier way.
4. Take a seat.
Try to eat breakfast sitting down. It’s worth the few extra minutes to focus on the meal in front of you rather than gulping down a granola bar on the run. Sitting down encourages you to eat more slowly and mindfully. The body has more time to register a feeling of fullness.
It may take some planning and pleading, but take a few minutes to eat at the breakfast table with your kids. Serve something that’ll keep them engaged and energized throughout the day. A healthy morning routine might make the whole year better.
If you’re looking for quick, yummy morning meals, check out the American Heart Association Recipes. Here’s one inspired example: Overnight No-Cook Banana Oatmeal. Bananas, pecans, oats, no-cook? Perfect.
How will you improve your breakfast game this school year?