Are your kids starting their morning without Breakfast? Would you like your child to have a nutritious breakfast so they are prepared to learn? Are your mornings rushed making it difficult to get everything accomplished?
A SMART Breakfast can help! A SMART Breakfast fuels a child's body, mind and imagination. Research confirms that children who eat breakfast have more energy, learn better, behave better and are healthier. Children who eat breakfast receive more of the key nutrients they need everyday including calcium, iron and dietary fiber.
For children and their parents, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Tips to eating a SMART Breakfast...
- Keep breakfast SIMPLE. Be realistic about your time. A quick and convenient breakfast can be a nutritious breakfast.
- Plan meals using MANY different foods. Children require many different nutrients each day to grow, develop and learn. A SMART Breakfast does not need to be traditional (eggs, toast, cereal & milk) but can include many different food and food groups (pizza, sandwich, burrito). Variety fuels the imagination.
- ANYTIME foods are foods you should aim to enjoy EVERYDAY. The colors orange (grains), green (vegetables), red (fruit), yellow (oils), blue (milk) and purple (meat & beans) represent the five different food groups and oils. A SMART breakfast is a colorful breakfast.
- Breakfast means "break" the "fast". Children need to REFUEL after going several hours without food and nutrition. That is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A SMART breakfast provides energy for the brain fueling the body for learning, growth and play.
- Eating behaviors of young children are influenced by their eating environment. Parents exert a powerful influence on their child's eating habits by determining what food is available, planning meals, serving as a role model for food choices, socializing and TEACHING about food and good nutrition.
Recipe for Success
Many individuals skip breakfast because of time. Eating a SMART breakfast can be quick and nutritious. Here are some quick and easy breakfast meals that will be fuel your child's growing body, mind and imagination:
- Peanut Butter and Banana Whole Wheat Sandwich with low fat Milk
- Bean & Cheese Burrito and 100% Orange Juice -make burritos ahead of time and freeze. For a quick meal, just heat and serve. Whole wheat tortillas are a great source of fiber. Add your favorite diced vegetables for variety (shredded carrots, zucchini, diced tomatoes and bell peppers)
- Fruit Pizza and Chocolate Milk -Top a whole grain English muffin with melted cheese and apple slices. Serve with low-fat chocolate milk.
Rainbow Breakfast Mix
- 5 cups Frosted Shredded Wheat Cereal (orange -grains)
- 1 ½ cups small pretzel twists, whole grain goldfish, cheese crackers or multigrain wheat squares (orange-grains)
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts* (purple -meat & beans)
- 2 Tablespoons Trans-Free Margarine (yellow -oils)
- ½ cup Natural Peanut Butter (purple -meat & beans)
- 1 cup raisins, dried blueberries or cherries (red -fruit)
*not recommended for children under age 3
In medium bowl, combine cereal, pretzels (crackers/cereal). In a medium saucepan, heat margarine and peanut butter until margarine in melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Pour over cereal mixture and toss gently until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally. Spread on waxed paper lined baking sheet. When completely cool, store in airtight container.
Pack in individual snack bags for quick & convenient breakfast to go. Serve with low-fat milk or yogurt (blue- milk).
Stacy Lofton, MS, RD
Nutrition Program Specialist/ Registered Dietitian
Knowledge Learning Corporation