Breakfast is Important-Can It Be Easy and Fun?
Posted 5 years ago by Lori Scholle
The morning rush can be a tough time in our house. Each child has a different personality – the 6 year old is always up between 5:30 and 6:00am, the four year old has to be dragged out of bed every morning and the two year old has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality, you never know what you are going to get! Some days by the time everyone gets out of bed, is dressed, and has their teeth brushed it feels like we have run a marathon! After all that craziness struggling to get my children to eat a nutritious breakfast before school is not exactly what I would like to be doing. Breakfast is important-can it be easy and fun?
Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day right? Why? Breakfast is the meal that gets our body out of the fasting period it experiences while we are sleeping and starts our daily calorie burning process. The benefits of eating a healthy breakfast have been proven time and time again through numerous studies. Children who eat a healthy breakfast are better able to focus and pay attention in school, have higher test scores and have less absences from school(1). Not eating enough for breakfast can lead to an overwhelming hunger after school that leads to uncontrolled snacking, creating an imbalance in their distribution of calories for the day. This could eventually turn into a pattern of unbalanced eating and lead to overeating and loss of appetite for meals. Consuming high-fiber whole grains, fruits and dairy products for breakfast can help prevent this process.
So how do you find the time to get a balanced breakfast on the table? Breakfast does not always have to be breakfast food – eggs, toast, oatmeal, cereal. There are many foods that kids are happy to eat that can reach their nutrition goals. Here are a few things that work in our house!
Peanut Butter Wraps
1 whole grain tortilla
2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
1 banana (peel removed)
Drizzle of honey (optional)
Lay tortilla flat and spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter evenly over it – drizzle honey over the peanut butter if you desire. Place the whole banana at one edge of the tortilla and roll it up. Slice in half and serve!
Greek Yogurt, Fruit and Granola Parfait
1/2 cup of low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup of Fruit of Choice
1/4 cup of Low-Fat Granola (Like Bear-Naked Fit – Triple Berry Crunch)
Drizzle of Honey or Maple Syrup
In a bowl spread half the yogurt, top with half of the fruit and then half of the granola. Repeat layers and drizzle with 1/2 tsp of honey or maple syrup.
This one does not really have a recipe - it is more of a formula. It is called a snack breakfast because it is a combination of “snacks” that you know your children will eat. We just make sure to include protein, whole grains with fiber and fruit to make a meal. For presentation it helps to put this on a plate that is sectioned off – but a regular plate works well too! Let your children help pick the components and they will be more likely to eat it all!
- Choose 1 serving of a Protein: 1 oz. cheese, 1 serving of low-fat yogurt, 1 oz of nuts, lunch meat are examples.
- 1/2 cup of fresh fruit or vegetable
- Choose 1 serving of Whole Grains – 1 Slice of Whole Wheat Toast, Dry Cereal like Cheerios, Cereal Bar (Like Kashi), Whole Grain Crackers are examples.
*This format works for snack lunches too!
1. Rampersaud GC, Pereira MA, Girard BL, Adams J, Metzl JD. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. J. Am. Diet. Assoc. 2005;105(5):743–760; quiz 761–762