Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. My mother always made sure we started our day with foods such as eggs, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes and breakfast meats like bacon and sausage. But, breakfast can be so much more than these traditional foods that can take more time to prepare that we often have in our rush to get out the door on a weekday morning.
Here are some tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help you and your family get a healthy breakfast and still get out the door.
- 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 pizza, or low-fat yogurt with fruit work just fine.
- Pack to-go: If there is no time to eat at home, take your breakfast to-go. Pack a brown bag breakfast for the road – or see if your school offers a breakfast program.
- 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 avocados. 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 morning and you and your family will be on the nutrition fast track for a high-energy day.