Good morning and welcome to breakfast!
Today’s menu includes steaming bowls of cinnamon apple oatmeal, fluffy omelets stuffed with cheese and veggies, and pancakes topped with yogurt and fruit.
What? You don’t always have time for that in the morning? Or your children aren’t hungry yet?
Starting the morning with a healthy breakfast gets your children’s day off to a great start, but mornings can be a hectic time where getting ourselves together to get out the door may be all we can manage.
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How do we make sure that somewhere in that morning rush your children get the nourishment they need to start the day?
Why Eat Breakfast?
Children who eat breakfast feel better, have fewer health complaints and fewer school absences.
Eating breakfast helps your children concentrate and do better on tests. Research has shown that children who eat breakfast on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight.
For more information on the benefits of breakfast and the research behind it, check out Food and Research Action Center’s Breakfast for Learning Fact Sheet at FRAC.org.
What to Eat
Eating foods from at least three different food groups will give your children’s body many of the nutrients they need.
Foods that contain fiber and complex carbohydrates from whole grains and fruit, and protein from plant or animal sources will provide a balanced, long-lasting breakfast to help your children stay full until lunch.
Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information about the health benefits of eating from all the food groups.
It takes some planning to have healthy, easy-to-eat breakfast foods on hand, but you can do it! Before you go to the grocery store, have your children help you make a list of foods they would like to eat for breakfast.
Once back home, a few minutes spent getting those foods ready to grab and go will make it easier to fit breakfast into your morning routine.
When brushing teeth is not an option, have your children drink water, swishing it around in their mouths to loosen food particles.
Do you want more quick and easy recipe ideas? Your local library has many cookbooks that you can check out. On the internet, try Washington State University Extension’s Grow Happy Kids website at growhappykids.org.
Breakfast at School
Breakfast provided at school is another good option for weekday breakfasts.
Your school food service provides breakfasts that include whole grains, fruit and milk. If your children have food allergies or food intolerances, talk to your food service director about the substitutions they can make to accommodate your children’s needs.
Some schools are trying Breakfast after the Bell in classrooms. This is a great way to assure that all children have full tummies and are ready to start learning.
Serving breakfast in the classroom reduces tardiness, improves student behavior, and builds a sense of community as the children eat together. When children are well fed, everyone wins.
So … what’s for breakfast?