September is Better Breakfast Month and what better time to reinforce the importance of eating a healthy breakfast for both children and adults. Wellstone Dietitian Carey Stites advocates for a healthy meal to start the day. "Eat breakfast each morning! Skipping breakfast omits calories essential to starting the body’s engine. Studies show people who eat breakfast reduce their chances of overeating during the day and weigh less than those skipping breakfast,” she explains.
Eating a nutritious breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, improves memory and concentration and lowers risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Children who eat a healthy meal in the morning also have better attendance.
Of course, not every child or adult is thrilled to eat something right when they wake up. Approximately 8 to 12 percent of all school-aged kids skip breakfast. Late bedtimes and frantic mornings that don’t have enough time for breakfast can be factors.
“I actually have a daughter who is not big on breakfast,” shares Carey. “My advice would be to think outside the breakfast box. Sometimes, breakfast for us might be a sandwich or even leftovers! I also take the kids shopping with me to pick out items for breakfast. On really busy mornings, or when children do not wake up hungry, we do a healthy breakfast shake or smoothie.”
Breakfast should be a part of your household’s routine, even on busy mornings. Stites outlines her recommendations for healthy “grab n’ go” breakfast ideas below:
• Toast two whole wheat waffles-add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and ½ a banana. Stick waffles together for portability!
• Grab a stick of 2% string cheese, whole wheat crackers and a banana.
• Spoon ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup fruit and ¼ cup granola in a cup to make a parfait.
• Eat 2 hard-boiled eggs (yolks optional) peeled the night before with a piece of fruit.
• Have a bowl of oatmeal with 15 almonds on top (Carey makes it in a coffee cup with a Keurig).
Wondering what Carey eats for breakfast? Let’s taco ‘bout it. “I love breakfast tacos! But my typical weekday breakfast is granola, topped with yogurt and fruit. If I am really in a hurry, I toast a whole wheat bagel with a slice of mozzarella on top!”