3 Reasons to Power Up Your School Routine with Breakfast
From toddlers to teens, breakfast is the foundation for starting the day ready to learn. Parents, breakfast can be a simple meal. Most important is to join your kids at the table. Whether you’re headed back to school or off to work, better days begin with a balanced breakfast. Here’s why:
- Breakfast bolsters success. The research abounds that shows we are better students and better employees when we start our day with a balanced breakfast. Concentration, attention and memory improves and productivity and test scores follow. In fact, one study found that schools with higher percentage of students eating breakfast also had higher Academic Performance Index scores.
- A balanced breakfast sets a healthy eating tone for the day. Research shows that those who start with a balanced breakfast have better overall nutrition and health, continue to eat healthier throughout the day and are more successful maintaining weight loss. Skipping breakfast could easily lead to empty-calorie mid-morning snacks which then interfere with a healthy lunch.
- Banish crankiness. Hunger can lead to headaches, feeling tired and becoming cranky. A balanced breakfast not only combats these symptoms, but also gives you the energy to power through to lunch.
Create a balanced breakfast by following the “3 out of 5” model. Combine at least one food from each of the three groupings for the fuel and fullness you need to power through to lunch. Whether you choose a yogurt parfait, a bagel sandwich, in less than 5 minutes you can have breakfast with three food groups that taste great. Plus, the protein from Meat, Beans + Nuts or Milk, Yogurt or Cheese helps to keep you satisfied for longer. In fact, those who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who do not eat a morning meal. This chart shows how easy a balanced breakfast can be.
3 out of 5 Breakfast Model
Need more ideas? Try this yogurt parfait recipe. You can also make a breakfast burrito, pour milk over a bowl of cereal with fruit, or toast an English muffin and smear with nut butter and sliced bananas. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest. Here's our "Break the Fast" Board.
2 cups chopped Pineapple
1 cup frozen Strawberry (thawed)
1 ripe Banana
1 cup vanilla Yogurt, reduced-fat or fat-free
1/3 cup crispy Oats (granola)
1. In individual sundae glasses or a regular bowl, layer the pineapple, strawberries, yogurt and banana.
2. Sprinkle with crispy oats.
3. Serve immediately.
You can make the yogurt and fruit portion the night before for an even faster morning meal. Have your kids help layer the ingredients by setting up the ingredients bar-style.
What quick and balanced breakfast will you plan?
Trina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook.