Bounce Back to School With Better Breakfasts
In 1951, the Cereal Institute started promoting Better Breakfast Month in September to coincide with the start of the U.S. school year. Though big-brand marketing schemes of the 20th century have significantly influenced what we should eat for breakfast (we’re looking at you, bacon!), the reasons why we should eat breakfast have been scientifically verified time and time again.
Studies show that breakfast eaters are likely to have an overall healthier diet and BMI levels as compared to non-breakfast eaters. This is partly because eating breakfast can lead to reduced feelings of hunger later in the day, which in turn may lead to overeating. Perhaps more importantly for children is that a morning meal helps replenish the brain’s supply of glucose, which has been depleted during the night’s sleep. For all kids going to school in the morning, jump-starting the brain with a healthy breakfast will help them think more clearly and focus better on their day’s assignments.
Below are five considerations for helping your child bounce back to school with better breakfasts and helping them be the best student they can be!
Older generations may remember the now-defunct “food pyramid” and how it used to give eggs a bad rap. More recently, researchers and nutritionists have lauded the nutritional benefits of eggs, noting that few foods can provide as much protein, antioxidants and vitamin B12 per calorie. Plus, eggs tend to be very affordable and quick to prepare. Scrambled, hard-boiled, sunny side up and omelets are just some of the quick and delicious ways you can prepare eggs for your school child.
A protein-packed and nutrient-dense food, yogurt can be a healthy choice for helping your child bounce back into the school year with better breakfasts. High in protein, calcium, vitamins and live culture or probiotics (good for the gut!), yogurt also comes in low-fat options for health conscious families. Be sure to read the sugar content of whatever yogurt you buy, as many family-branded options add way too much. We recommend Icelandic Skyr or Low-Fat Greek Yogurt for a low-sugar, low-fat and high-protein morning meal.
Juice has become a staple of family diets in recent decades, but it can be easy for children (and adults!) to overdo it. For one, many juice brands aren’t 100% juice and come laden with spoonfuls of extra sugar. Make sure whatever juice you buy for your kids doesn’t have any “added sugars” and is made from “100% juice.” That way you know your child is getting the better breakfast they need to bounce back to school without the blood-sugar crash.
Fresh or Frozen Fruit & Vegetables
Fresh or frozen fruit & vegetables contain nearly all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibers your child needs to live their healthiest life. Blueberries, oranges, bananas or apples seem like no-brainers, but how can you incorporate those all-important veggies into your morning meal as well? Try adding some spinach and tomato to an omelet or grate fresh carrots and zucchini into an organic pancake mix. If you have the necessary kitchen equipment, zucchini, beets and even cauliflower make great additions to a breakfast smoothie.
Nutritionists agree that breakfast is the best meal for incorporating your daily intake of dietary fibers. This is commonly done with breakfast cereals; however, many name-brand cereals contain high levels of chocolate, sugar and other sweeteners that can negate any healthy benefits. Granola, on the other hand, can be a filling and fiber-rich option for your child’s bounce-back better breakfast. Granola can be eaten on its own, with a bowl of milk or as a topping on your favorite yogurt along with fresh fruit. Be cautious about the number of sugars and calories in the brand of granola you buy, avoiding brands that list any sweeteners in the first few ingredients.