Family breakfast time

It would be great to serve fresh fruit, and low-fat milk each morning. But it can be difficult to make a healthy breakfast happen when you are rushing to get yourself and the kids ready in the morning and juggling the general household chaos.

Try these practical suggestions to ensure that — even in a rush — you and your kids get a good breakfast before you are out the door:

  • Stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options

  • Prepare as much as you can the night before (get dishes and utensils ready, cut up fruit, etc.)

  • Get everyone up 10 minutes earlier

  • Let kids help plan and prepare breakfast

  • Have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit; individual boxes or baggies of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal; yogurt or smoothies; trail mix) on days when there is little or no time to eat

For kids, if they are not feeling hungry first thing in the morning, be sure to pack a breakfast that they can eat a little later on the bus or between classes. Fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, or peanut butter sandwich are nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to take along.

Easy Breakfast Ideas

The morning meal doesn’t have to be all about traditional breakfast items. You can mix it up to include different foods, even the leftovers from last night’s dinner, and still provide the nutrients and energy kids need for the day.

Try to serve a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbs are a good source of immediate energy for the body. Energy from protein tends to kick in after the carbs are used up. Fiber helps provide a feeling of fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. And when combined with healthy drinks, fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol.

Good sources of these nutrients include:

Carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain bread and muffins, fruits, vegetables

Protein: low-fat or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butter)

Fiber: whole-grain bread and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts

Here are some ideas for healthy breakfasts to try:

  • Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk topped with fruit

  • Whole-wheat brain/buns stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs

  • Hot cereal topped with nuts or fruit sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves

  • whole-grain sandwich topped with peanut butter and fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk

  • Breakfast smoothie (low-fat milk or yogurt, fruit, and a teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)

  • Vegetable omelet with whole-wheat toast

  • Heated leftover rice with eggs

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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