The beeping of the alarm rustles you from your peaceful slumber—you reach out of bed and shut it off and wish that the sandman could come visit you for a few more minutes; but alas morning has come. Often mornings are so hectic that taking time to eat breakfast is lost in the shuffle; but we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Study after study has shown the importance of a healthy breakfast not only with adults, but also with children. Children who eat a healthy breakfast have better weight control, concentration and energy. Plus, breakfast is a great opportunity to get some good nutrients into those kiddos! So why not fuel them for the day and also for a lifetime?
Breakfast is a prime opportunity to get in some great nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, iron and fiber! Young children are in their peak bone building time—calcium and vitamin D are the building blocks to strong and healthy bones! Foods like cheese, yogurt, milk, juice, almonds and bread all contain calcium. Calcium’s best friend, vitamin D, can be found in eggs, milk, soy milk, Swiss cheese, white mushrooms, sausage links, oatmeal, fortified orange juice and cereals and yogurt. Iron can be found in fortified cereals, raisins, dried fruits, spinach, nuts and bread. Nuts, seeds, whole grain breads and whole fruits and vegetables will give you fiber. Combined, all these foods make for a wonder addition to any breakfast!
Sure this all sounds great, but as busy parents we do not always have the time to make and eat a healthy breakfast; so what do we do? Plan and Prep! Or as I call it P&P. Planning what breakfast will be for the week and then prepping what you can a head of time is going to be your key to success. Write down breakfast ideas that you and your family would enjoy and keep a running list—that way you can always refer back for ideas when you need them. Making things that can be frozen also can save you time and encourage a healthy breakfast. Check out the list below to see if any of these ideas would fit your family!
- Baked oatmeal
- Breakfast Parfait
- French Toast Sticks
- Breakfast casserole
- Breakfast burrito
- Breakfast sandwich
- Muffin Tin Omelets
Try to package items in portion sizes to freeze or refrigerate so you just have to grab, heat and go! I love finger foods for children on the go. Small waffles, pancake bites, French toast sticks, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks and fruit chunks to name a few. Happy eating!
By: Emily Novak, RD, LDN