Fuel Up with Breakfast

Tips from Jill Ladd, MPH, RD, LD and Kansas Wheat Spokesperson

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you know that children who eat breakfast have been shown to do better academically as well as behave better at school? Children who eat breakfast show improved cognitive function, attention and memory!

Mornings in any household, especially one with kids, can be hectic to say the least. Planning ahead for the week can help make the mornings go smoother and ensure that everyone gets a healthy breakfast. Personally, I like to make large batches of breakfast items on the weekend to get us through the week. When planning breakfasts, a best practice is to offer at least three of the five food groups each day, www.Choosemyplate.gov.

Breakfast is a great meal to get a serving of grains. Everyone, including children, should aim to make half of the grain foods they consume be whole grains. Whole grains provide more nutrients, such as fiber, iron and B-vitamins, than refined grains. Fiber helps keep children feeling full longer and will help fuel them through their morning!

Here are some ideas to fuel your kids (and you) for the day:

  • Blueberry Banana Breakfast Bars paired with a glass of milk – Warm a bar in the microwave by wrapping the bar in a paper towel which makes for a nutrient filled on-the-go breakfast. You can make these bars with other fruit such as strawberries, or even add chocolate chips. I know my kids are more likely to try something that has chocolate in it!
  • Egg muffin cups paired with whole wheat toast and fresh fruit – Our family enjoys customizing these muffin cups superhealthykids.com/breakfast-egg-cups-recipe/ with different protein options (sausage, diced ham, etc.) and/or vegetable options (bell peppers, spinach, diced tomatoes, etc.).
  • Yogurt Parfait – Layer yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit, and granola or whole grain cereal.
  • Fruit Pizza – Top a whole grain bagel half with light cream cheese or yogurt and fresh fruit.
  • English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich – Pair a whole grain English muffin with egg and Canadian bacon. Make a large batch on the weekend and individually wrap each sandwich and freeze for easy re-heating.

References: http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/breakfastforlearning-1.pdf

Jill Ladd MPH, RD, LD

— Contributed by Jill Ladd, MPH, RD, LD