A bounty of ideas for healthful breakfasts

August 6, 2013

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.

Protein

●Provides concentrated energy for the body

●Constructs the brain

●Repairs tissue

●Keeps the body satisfied longer

Healthful fat

●Supplies energy

●Builds the brain

●Slows absorption of other parts of the meal, keeping the body satisfied longer

Fiber

●Reduces risk of heart disease

●Lowers cholesterol

●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.

Where to start

Serve any of these items with a side of fruit for a healthful breakfast.

Eggs

●Hard-cooked

●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.)

Smoothies

●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

Low-sugar granola

Granola Wedges

●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)

Whole grains

●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)

Dairy

Yogurt parfait with fruit and nuts or granola

Other ideas

●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

●Scrambled tofu

●Nitrate-free turkey or chicken sausage

MORE: Packaged breakfasts: What to consider

Seidenberg is co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company.

Casey Seidenberg is the co-founder of Nourish Schools, a D.C.-based nutrition education company.
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