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Make Time for Breakfast

by Dayle Hayes, MS RD

Make Time for Breakfast

As a mom, you may have often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After years of scientific research, it turns out that you may actually be right.

For kids, eating in the morning is essential for optimal school performance and overall health. Kids (and adults) who eat breakfast tend to do better at school (and work) and have healthier weights and cholesterol levels as well.

To refuel and rev-up your family for an energetic day, plan a power breakfast.

Plan Ahead

For most people, time is the biggest obstacle to eating in the morning. Here are three tried-and-true tips for beating the breakfast rush hour:

  • Get ready the night before: Set the table with bowls and spoons for cereal. Get out a pan for pancakes or a blender for smoothies. Slice up some fruit and cheese.
  • Keep it simple: Fancy breakfasts are wonderful when you have the time. On busy days, a sandwich, a slice of leftover veggie pizza, or low-fat yogurt with fruit work just fine.
  • Pack to-go: If there’s no time to eat at home, take your nutrition to-go. Pack a brown bag breakfast for the road – or see if your school offers a breakfast program.

Include Protein/Carbs

  • Carbohydrates: A high-octane carbohydrate energizes your body and brain for a busy day. Think cereal (hot or cold), bread, dinner rolls, tortillas, or even leftover rice or pasta. Choose whole grains for an extra nutrition punch (more fiber and nutrients).
  • Protein: This is the missing link in most morning meals. Protein is what we need to go strong until lunch. Think a slice of Canadian bacon, an egg, a slice of lean deli meat or low-fat cheese, a container of low-fat yogurt, a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese, or a handful of nuts.
  • Fruit: It’s quick and easy to add color and nutrition to your breakfast with your favorite fruits. Think fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit – like apples, berries, pears, bananas, grapefruit, kiwi, mangoes, oranges, or pineapple. Another great option is avocadoes. They are high in unsaturated (or good") fat and contain vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and beta carotene, which forms vitamin A.

Eat well in the a.m. and you and your family will be on the nutrition fast track for a high-energy day. Check out the Power Up with Breakfast tip sheet for more breakfast ideas.

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About the author:

Dayle M Hayes MS RD

Dayle Hayes, MS RD


Topics


Themes


Themes

  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.


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