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The dogs are barking, kids are yelling, lunch boxes sit empty awaiting the day’s edibles. Not only are you trying to ready yourself for the day (after hitting snooze one too many times), but your children are relying on you to make them breakfast.
Sugary cereals are truly the last thing they need before they are shuttled off to school. What they really need is healthy fare that will help them concentrate during the math test and have energy during gym class. Between showering, packing lunches, checking emails, and ironing your shirt, cooking breakfast may be the last thing on your mind (coffee probably being the first).
Lovely, Lovely Benefits
Many people may not know it (and perhaps others ignore it), but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That being said, it’s important to fuel your body with the proper nutrients in the morning. Not only will this help you concentrate throughout the day, but will give you strength and can even help you maintain a healthy weight.
A healthy breakfast is important for adults and just as important for children too. As reported by the Mayo Clinic:
Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
- Eat more vitamins and minerals
- Control their weight
- Eat less fat and cholesterol
Children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
- Meet daily nutrient requirements
- Be at a healthy body weight
- Have better concentration and be more alert
- Miss fewer days of school
As previously mentioned, mornings can be a hectic time: Showering, letting the dogs out, packing lunches, and seeing the kids off to school. But there are plenty of ways to eat healthy in the AM without waking up an hour earlier (a good night’s sleep is important too).
Making a Healthy Breakfast Quick and Easy
Foods that are considered “lean protein” are great to incorporate into a quick breakfast. For example, lean meats, hard-boiled eggs, and peanut butter are great breakfast foods.
Low fat dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent as well. With that in mind, a smoothie made with fresh fruits, yogurt, and low fat milk with a bit of added peanut butter is quick, nutritious, and worthy of being labeled “breakfast on the go”. You can find a great list of healthy smoothie recipes here.
As the saying goes: “Good and good for you”. This statement is something to keep in mind when you’re at the grocery store perusing the cereal aisle that seems to go on and on. Cereal is typically a healthy start to the day, as long as you stay away from the ones loaded with sugar. Be sure to choose cereals that are high in fiber, like Kashi Go Lean, which is also high in protein. Other cereals – according to Cooking Light - that can be considered healthy options include Cheerios (for the kids), Special K Multi-Grain Oats and Honey, and Mini Wheats (unfrosted).
Oatmeal can also be a good choice. And when it comes to both oatmeal and cereal, feel free to add in your favorite fresh fruits.
A great way to work a healthy breakfast into a tight schedule is to prepare it the night before. Cooking a breakfast casserole or sandwich prior to the morning rush can save time. A quick AM reheat will have you eating healthy in a timely fashion. Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato Gratin anyone?
If you are motivated to cook breakfast and find yourself with a bit more time in the mornings, you can set out bowls, pans, and dry ingredients the night before. Not only will this save you a few AM minutes, but you won’t have to dig through cupboards in the dim morning light just to find a saucepan.
So even through all of the morning chaos, the important thing to remember is the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only is eating a healthy breakfast good for you, but it’s good for your kids too.
Remember, there are plenty of healthy, quick breakfast options that will keep you feeling energized throughout the day. So next time you have nothing to do on a Sunday night, why not prepare a healthy quiche to ensure you start your Monday off on the right foot?
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