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Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day but if your morning routine is like mine, it can be a bit of a circus in the mornings. Time is of the essence and eating a healthy breakfast can take time, or does it?
According the the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, breaking an overnight fast with a balanced meal can make a significant difference in over health and well-being, especially for children and teens. Eating a smart breakfast can help improve behavior and school performance. The Academy points out that even though many of us face a “race of hurdles” in the morning, there are healthy breakfast options available. Below are just a few of their suggestions.
If you wake up on time…..enjoy scrambled eggs served with turkey bacon, fruit and whole-grain toast. Or try popping a whole-grain waffle in the toaster and topping with applesauce or fresh fruit.
If you hit the snooze button one time, try an English Muffin sandwich with low fat cheese and sliced ham. Warm the sandwich in the microwave and grab an apple to complete the meal. Another quick option would be a snack size container of low fat vanilla yogurt, topped with granola and fruit.
If you hit the snooze button three (or more) times, you can still break the fast….
try instant oatmeal. Look for varieties without added sugar and just add boiling water, stir in dried cranberries and almonds. Or have a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread and grab a banana to-go on your way out the door.
If your time is tight in the morning, consider getting organized ahead of time. You could try some overnight oats or a brown bag breakfast: grab a banana or apple, a bag of trail mix made with whole-grain cereal, almonds and dried fruit such as mango, pineapple or apricots. Place it in a bag the night before. Go a step further and put it in your work bag or bookbag – one less step in the morning and you can eat it on the way to work or school.
Regardless of your age, breakfast is important for fueling your body with essential nutrients for energy and brain function. If you have school aged children and breakfast from home just isn’t feasible, encourage them to eat breakfast at school. Most public schools offer free breakfast for all students. School nutrition programs must meet strict nutrition guidelines so you can be assured the breakfast choices are nutritious.