Parents are beginning to again contemplate carpools, homework and how to keep hectic mornings moving smoothly. Because we shouldn’t send our kids off to school without a healthful meal, we should start contemplating breakfast, too. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, two-thirds of teenage girls and half of teenage boys don’t eat breakfast, even though it has proven to be essential to help them focus and maintain energy levels in school. Let’s move our kids, no matter what age, into the habit of beginning their days healthfully.
There are three key nutrients that make up a wholesome breakfast.
●Provides concentrated energy for the body
●Constructs the brain
●Keeps the body satisfied longer
●Builds the brain
●Slows absorption of other parts of the meal, keeping the body satisfied longer
●Reduces risk of heart disease
●Keeps the body full longer
Share your stories: We want to hear about your morning routine, what you eat and what your kids eat (or refuse to). Tell us here and we’ll compile the best responses.
Serve any of these items with a side of fruit for a healthful breakfast.
●Scrambled (add veggies)
●Egg nest: whole grain toast with an egg fried in a hole in the middle
●Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs and cheese in a whole-grain wrap
●Frittata (Make in advance and heat up a slice, or make as muffins so they’re easy to reheat, grab and go.)
●Green eggs and ham (Chop a handful of spinach into tiny pieces and toss with eggs before scrambling. Serve with a side of nitrate-free bacon or ham.)
●Start with a frozen banana
●Add any combination of fresh or frozen fruit (berries, pineapple, mango, cherries)
●For added nutrition, throw in a handful of greens (spinach, kale)
●For protein: 1 tablespoon nut butter, a handful of raw cashews or sunflower seeds, or ½ cup plain yogurt
●For a creamier texture: ½ cup almond milk or coconut milk
●Add water if needed until it blends smoothly
Nuts and seeds
●Banana spread with nut butter
●Breakfast quesadilla: whole-grain tortilla spread with nut butter and sliced berries
●Almond pancakes or waffles (make a big batch over the weekend and reheat in the toaster)
●Pre-soaked oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice or millet topped with honey or maple syrup and fruit (soak your grain in the fridge overnight and then just heat up)
●Whole-grain muffins (make on Sunday for the week)
●Oatmeal pancakes (make a big batch over the weekend and reheat in toaster during the week)
●Yogurt parfait with fruit and nuts or granola
●Sweet potato pancakes
●Smoked salmon and mascarpone or cream cheese on sliced bread
●A piece of whole-grain toast with sliced avocado sprinkled with salt and pepper
●Nitrate-free turkey or chicken sausage
Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company.