School's (almost) back in session and if you have school-aged kids you're likely scrambling to set up the new daily routine. When do we need to wake up? Who will drop off? Who will pick up? And the dreaded question... what will we eat?
While lunch and dinner are probably on your mind, breakfast is what you should focus on first. You've heard it and it's true - breakfast is a very important meal. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness, and fewer hunger-induced stomach aches in the morning. Their overall test scores are higher, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination.
Breakfast doesn't have to be big and fancy, and it doesn't even have to be eaten at the table. While eating together as a family is ideal, and it may actually be easier to get the family together in the morning than in the evening, if you aren't a family of early risers, try some of the breakfasts on-the-go below.
Whether you're planning a breakfast to be eaten seated or standing, try to include at least 3 of the 5 food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy) and foods of several different colors (red, yellow/orange, white/brown, green, blue/purple). Use MyPlate as your guide!
In a bowl, mix a whole grain cereal such as oat circles, or corn or wheat flakes with low-fat yogurt and dried fruit, like raisins, chopped apricots, or cranberries. Grab a spoon and take the bowl with you, if needed!
Fill a whole grain tortilla with low fat refried beans and a slice of low fat cheddar cheese. Warm in a microwave or toaster oven and eat on the run! Take an orange along!
Pour your favorite whole grain, low sugar cereal in a mug or cup with a handle. Pour in low-fat or fat-free milk, bring a spoon and you’re ready to go! Grab a banana to round out the meal.
You can take water, 100% juices, and low-fat or fat-free milk as beverages “on-the-go” by buying juice and milk boxes, and water bottles to have on hand; or to save costs, buy juice and milk in large containers and pour in reusable bottles, the same with tap water. Note: After use, clean reusable bottles with hot soapy water.
Hard boil several eggs to have on hand. Shell an egg, slice and place between two whole grain slices of toast with a slice of low fat American cheese and you have an egg and cheese sandwich for the road. Warm, if desired. Grab a container of 100% juice as well.
Prepare a breakfast smoothie with low-fat yogurt, frozen berries or a banana, and a favorite 100% juice. Blend up the night before and freeze overnight in a plastic drink container. Take out of the freezer when rising to let it thaw a little and with a spoon eat a frosty breakfast on the road.
On the weekend, prepare quick breads like banana nut or pumpkin and freeze. Cut a frozen slice, spread with low fat cream cheese and warm. Add a piece of fruit and a container of low-fat or fat-free milk to complete the meal.
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! Thinking about serving a simple meal of cold cereal and fruit? Check out our previous blog on kids and low sugar cereals