It’s back to school time and you know what that means. Breakfast, five days a week. And a healthy breakfast at that. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day so the pressure is on for all you parents who work hard to get their kids ready to go.
Welcome to the first of my Back to School Kids series on healthy eating. It only makes sense that we start with the first meal of the day. Together, let’s send those beautiful, crazy, energetic ones to school with a healthy start so their brains keep firing on all cylinders.
Growing up, a lot of us sat down to a bowl of cereal. It’s only natural for us to want to do the same thing with our kids. It’s easy, after all, and it has vitamins in it, right? Well, while a bowl of cereal might be the quickest and easiest option, we really should look for more variety of food groups to kick off the day. When I ask parents what else they should consider, I always suggest protein. A little protein will keep them satisfied better until lunch or snack.
One of my kids’ favorites is what we call a banana split. Slice a banana long ways, top with peanut butter and sprinkle with granola and berries. They love it. You can find several ideas on Pinterest for different toppings but I urge you to watch the sugar content of all of your ingredients.
Granola, yogurt, and even peanut butter (yes, there’s sugar in a lot of peanut butters) can pile on the sugar quickly, and sugar, well, it does all sorts of things to the human body that aren’t ideal. (I’ll talk about sugar in another post.)
Another favorite around our house is simply plain oatmeal mixed with Greek yogurt or peanut butter and fruit.
Overall, I love a balanced meal which should include as many different food groups as possible with an emphasis on the fruits and vegetables.
If you can pick a protein, grain and fruit/vegetable each morning, your kids will be ready for some serious school learning. And to help you get started, here are some ideas:
- Smoothies that contain fruit, veggies and some protein-https://www.wellplated.com/kale-pineapple-smoothie/
- Uncured bacon or nitrate/nitrite free sausage, whole grain toast, fruit
- Whole grain waffles or pancakes (sometimes I make these ahead and freeze them or I buy premade frozen) with peanut butter or other nut butter and berries on top
- Plain oatmeal (sweetened with honey or maple syrup if desired) with Greek yogurt and fruit
- Eggs with vegetables (omelet or muffin tin eggs) and whole grain toast- https://michellesmithrdsecrets.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/crustless-mini-quiches/
- Breakfast banana split (above)- https://www.pinterest.com/pin/13088655152527498/
For this article, I grabbed these recipes from Pinterest, but really, there are about a gazillion recipes for breakfast, so good luck!
Just kidding, kind of. Try to follow these tips as much as possible and you’ll set your kids up right. In general, avoid high sugar items or ingredients – especially added sugar. Avoid simple carbohydrates – plain white flour used for bread, waffles or pancakes is a main culprit here. And believe it or not, recipes with protein powder aren’t the best. Remember we are feeding our children, not a gym full of body builders.
Enjoy finding creative ways to kick the day off right and if you have some great recipes to share, head on over to my Facebook page so we all can enjoy.