How do you jump-start your day? Breakfast is a daily opportunity to re-affirm wellness as a priority and to refuel in a tasty and energizing way, even if I’m in a hurry. As a mother, I know that children eating the standard American diet are not getting enough nutrition or fiber. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breakfast gives our children:
- Better memory
- Better test scores
- Better attention span to decreased irritability
- Healthier body weights
- Improved overall nutrition
Making breakfast a routine for children also paves the way for healthy eating habits as they grow up. And lowers risks for major diseases down the road. Let’s empower them on a daily basis and give them a foundation for positive eating habits.
Put some color in my breakfast and I know I’m off to a good start. Include macronutrients (protein, healthy fats and carbs from plants) and micronutrient diversity (veggies, fruits, spices, nuts and seeds)
Warm weather go-to breakfast?
- Homemade granola layered with Greek yogurt or drizzled with coconut milk, topped with fresh season fruits and sprinkled with seeds (hemp, chia, sesame)
- Overnight grains (oats buckwheat) with apple, blueberries, mango—whatever is in season and deliciously ripe. If fresh fruit is not available, dried apricots, cranberries or raisins
- Deliciously spiced, yummy fruit-enriched hot oatmeal or buckwheat. Simply by changing out fruits, nuts and spices, it doesn’t get boring or repetitive.
- Quinoa egg muffins
Add a beautifully colorful smoothie that sounds like dessert ( Red Velvet , Pineapple Upside Down Cake Chocolate Covered Cherry) singing with vitamins and phytonutrients and my body shouts “thank you!”
Red Velvet Smoothie – Simple Green Smoothies
Nutrient-dense smoothies like Dr. Hyman’s Green Breakfast can even be a stand-alone breakfast. Caution: when you start partaking of green smoothies, your body will love it so much you just might turn a corner that won’t allow retreat.
Smoothies are also a simple way to get children (and husbands!) to eat more fruits and vegetables. Invite them to “drink a color!” Call it a green monster or the blueberry princess elixir. Summon their imagination to breakfast.
Weekends facilitate baking breakfast breads loaded with lovely fruits and/or vegetables like (Cranberry Nut Bread, Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread), muffins (Carrot Apple Muffins, Very Berry Muffins, Pumpkin Apple Muffins) to mention a few.
Pancakes and waffles rise to a whole new level with Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes, Sweet Potato Blender Muffins, the options are innumerous. Drizzled with honest-to-goodness real maple syrup (try it; you won’t want to go back to the fake stuff!), raspberry pureé or applesauce, taste buds celebrate and bellies are happy. Double the recipe, freeze them and you have breakfast on-the-go during the week.
Breakfast is a habit. As with all habits, bad ones can be broken and new ones can be made and strengthened with time. If breakfast has been sacrificed on the altar of expediency (or for a few more smacks of the snooze button), it can be reinstated on your list of good habits and reign supreme on your priorities.
- The right breakfast foods give you energy, recharge your brain and body to be more efficient in what you do, setting the stage for smart decisions all day.
- Breakfast eaters have a higher intake of essential vitamins and minerals, and generally have lower serum cholesterol levels (associated with reduced risk of heart disease)
- Breakfast restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate needed for the brain to function. Many studies have shown eating breakfast can improve memory and concentration levels and can also make us happier as it can improve mood and lower stress levels.
- In studies amongst children, breakfast can improve attainment, behavior and has been linked to improved grades.
It begins with an active plan that includes having appropriate items on hand. Stumped? Drop me a note in the comments and I will send a breakfast plan your way. Ring the breakfast bell! Let’s bring it on!
For more empowerment: