September is National Breakfast Month! We have all heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and although you can argue that it is not, there is still evidence that supports breakfast being an important meal that can boost your metabolism, help your children perform better in school, prevent over snacking later in the day, and stabilizes your blood sugar.
Here are some tips and meal ideas that can help you and your children build a better breakfast:
- Try to choose foods from at least three of the food groups (dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables, and grains) for your breakfast to be well balanced.
- Choose high fiber, whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, or whole wheat breads (English muffins, waffles, sandwich bread) in place of bagels, croissants, and doughnuts.
- Try to always include at least one serving of fruit.
- When choosing a drink for your breakfast, opt for a low-fat milk or 100% fruit juice. If you drink coffee, try to avoid full-fat creamers or adding sugar.
- Pick a good source of protein such as lean meats, nuts and nut butters, eggs, dairy, and beans.
- Avoid fatty foods such as sausage, bacon, whole milk and foods high in added sugar like doughnuts, flavored yogurt, sugary cereals.
- Choose the plainest, lowest-sugar versions of foods such as yogurt and oatmeal. If you prefer sweeter foods, add cinnamon, fruit, or vanilla extract.
- Make smoothies packed with various fruits and low-fat plain yogurt. Try adding spinach or vegetables. Generally, the sweetness from the fruit will mask the flavor of the vegetables!
- Breakfast toast is a great way to get many foods from the food groups. Toast a slice of 100% whole grain bread, add your favorite nut butter, and layer with toppings such as fruit, nuts, and unsweetened coconut. Or choose to make a savory slice using avocado, egg, and vegetables.
- Try a breakfast sandwich using a whole wheat English muffin with egg, lean meat, vegetables, and low-fat cheese.
- Pack your oatmeal or overnight oatmeal with fruit, cinnamon, nuts, or nut butters.
Using these tips, you and your family are now ready to start your day with a healthy breakfast!