Getting kids ready with back-to-school breakfasts

Published 7:01 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

There are several health benefits to eating breakfast as part of a regular routine. Eating breakfast may assist with weight loss or maintenance, increase overall nutrient intake and help kids perform better in school. A healthy breakfast can also add nutrients such as protein, fiber, calcium, iron and B vitamins, which are difficult to make up for when breakfast is skipped.

Protein and fiber are key nutrients for weight control as both of these items may control hunger and prevent overeating.  Many breakfast items contain protein, fiber or both. For protein at breakfast, eat eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt, milk, or fortified protein cereals or bars. Good high fiber choices include oatmeal, whole-grain breads or cereals and many fruits and vegetables.

Some simple protein and fiber combination breakfasts to fix on busy mornings are:

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•Fruit and Nutty Oatmeal. Make your favorite oatmeal with nonfat or low-fat milk. Top it with a tablespoon of dried fruits and unsalted chopped nuts. Dried fruits with the most fiber are apricots, dates, plums and raisins. Add chia or flax seeds for crunch and even more fiber.

•Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes or Waffles. Substitute whole-wheat flour in your favorite pancake or waffle batter and toss in fresh or frozen blueberries.  Top whole-grain waffles with any of your favorite fruit toppings.

•Veggie Scramble and Whole-Grain Toast. Scramble an egg and toss in a handful of spinach leaves or broccoli to make a healthy scramble. Toast a slice of whole-grain bread to serve with it.

•Blackberry Yogurt Breakfast Parfait. Layer blackberries and low-fat Greek yogurt in a parfait glass or bowl and top with a tablespoon of granola.

•Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Start with one cup of strawberries. Add ½ cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt, half a banana, half cup orange juice and a few ice cubes. Blend and you have a healthy meal in minutes.

•Breakfast Bean Burrito. Scramble one egg, toss in quarter cup black beans, and place in the center of a warmed 5-inch whole-grain tortilla. Top with a tablespoon of salsa and wrap it up for a high-fiber treat you can eat on the go.

Balance meals with correct portions from each food group. Aim for a minimum of three different food group choices per meal.

Crunchy Cereal Trail Mix

Serves 1

 PapeAll you need

•1/4 cup Cheerios

•1 tbsp pepitas

•2 tsp raisins

•2 tsp semisweet mini •chocolate chips

 All you do

Combine Cheerios, pepitas, raisins and chocolate chips in a small bowl.