School is back in session so that means a change from lazy summer days to a jam packed fall. You have heard it a million times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” however, trying to get kids out the door on time for school can mean skimping on the morning nutrition.
Studies show that students who eat breakfast concentrate better, display better muscle coordination, have increased strength and endurance, and also have higher attendance rates and lower rates of tardiness. All of which makes sense: kids who are hungry have a harder time paying attention and learning. Breakfast supplies kids with key nutrients like calcium, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D. Kids who eat breakfast also are less likely to be overweight and more likely to have an overall healthier diet; a fact that holds true for adults too!
While most people recognize the importance of breakfast, many continue to skip this vital meal or choose something that is not particularly healthy. While it is important to eat in the morning, it is also important to make smart food choices. Aim for a breakfast that balances protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, whole-grain cereals, fruit, and low-fat dairy. Check below for breakfast ideas you can take on the go or, if you have a little more time … try the minimal prep ideas.
7 Grab-and-Go Breakfast Ideas
- Whole-grain cereal with sliced banana and berries served with fat-free milk.
- Parfait: Mix plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with chopped nuts and sliced berries.
- Peanut butter and sliced apples on whole-wheat toast
- Sliced turkey breast and low-fat cheese on a toasted whole-grain English muffin
- Breakfast Wrap: Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla and top with chopped peanuts, raisins and a sliced banana
- Whole-grain mini bagel with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and sliced banana
- Whole-grain granola bar, fresh fruit (like an apple or banana), and a container of milk
4 Minimal Prep Breakfast Ideas
- Combine 2 eggs in a microwavable safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Microwave for 30 seconds, then transfer onto a 100% whole-wheat English muffin. Top with shredded low-fat cheese and sliced tomato and avocado.
- Fill a whole-wheat pita with low-fat cottage cheese. Add in fresh fruit like pineapple or peaches and then drizzle with a small amount of honey.
- Add hot water to a plain instant oatmeal packet. Mix in raisins, slivered almonds, and cinnamon applesauce for sweetness. For an extra calcium boost, use milk instead of water.
- Smoothie: Blend frozen fruit, low-fat yogurt, and milk
While eating breakfast may not seem like a priority, the benefits are well worth the time! To save extra minutes in the morning, plan out breakfast from the night before. You can even pull out the ingredients so you have one less thing to do when you wake up!
Natalie Menza, MS, RD
Health & Wellness Manager
Wakefern Food Corporation
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