Written by UConn Dietetics Student Alyson Gaylord
You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? The term breakfast means “break- the- fast.” After 8-10 hours of fasting as you sleep, your body is looking for calories and energy. Scientists tell us that kids who eat breakfast tend to focus better on their schoolwork and do better on tests. Let’s do it in the healthiest way possible!
Breakfast is the perfect time to teach your kids some fun nutrition tips! It is always good to include foods in your breakfast that make you Go, Grow and Glow!
*GO with energy using foods like whole grain breads and oatmeal!
*GROW with protein-rich foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, eggs, lean meats, fish and nut butters!
*GLOW foods include fruits, vegetables and beans!
Get creative at breakfast! Include foods that help your child (and you!) to Go, Grow and Glow!
Check out these simple and yummy examples!
- Starting your day with a boxed cereal made from whole grains paired with cold skim or 1% milk gives your body a ton of nutrition through vitamins, minerals and fiber!
- A low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt with your own added fruit andtopped with low-sugar granola or your favorite dry cereal is a bang up, crunchy way to start your day!
- Guess what? An egg scrambles in less than 5 minutes on the stove and is an excellent source of protein! Add veggies such as spinach and tomatoes to ramp up the nutrition.
- Love peanut butter? Add it to your breakfast by putting some on your toast! Allergic to peanuts? Try sunflower butter for a great substitute.
All of the above will fuel your body in great ways to tackle whatever the day throws your way!
Do you think all breakfast choices are equal? They are not! There are breakfast choices that might make your body grumble at you a bit.
- A lot of breakfast-type foods are high in sugar, such as certain cereals, pancakes, donuts and bakery-type items. These foods digest in your tummy pretty quickly and could lead to a quick burst of energy, followed by a really empty feeling, which defeats the purpose of the meal.
- While smoothies can be great, you should be careful about how many ingredients you add! You could find yourself drinking too many calories and lots of sugar for breakfast.
If you know your tummy has a hard time eating soon after awakening, try out these grab-and-go food combinations that can easily be made the night before and taken in a lunch box or bag to work or school for a “later morning breakfast”:
- Apple slices and nut butter
- Rice cakes and nut butter
- Fruit cups
- Peanut butter sandwich with sliced banana
- Vanilla yogurt with low-sugar dry cereal
- Overnight oats (easy recipe below!)
EASY OVERNIGHT OATS
½ cup raw oats
1 cup milk (preferably low-fat)
1 tsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup or honey)
Optional toppings: fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, nut butters
Place the oats, milk and sweetener in a mason jar or to-go container. Stir until combined. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, about 8 hours. In the morning, top with desired toppings and enjoy!
Good luck! Go get your GO, GLOW, GROW on!
For more breakfast recipes for kids, visit the following link:
This material is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.