|Healthy, quick breakfasts a possibility for busy mornings|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Breakfast has long been referred to as the most important meal of the day. This morning meal should be a high priority before rushing off to work. It’s also beneficial for students heading to school to enjoy a meal before they catch the bus.
Studies have found that children who eat a healthy breakfast have higher energy levels and better learning abilities than similar students who do not eat breakfast. Harvard University researchers found those who eat breakfast are significantly more attentive in the classroom and have fewer behavioral and emotional problems.
Many families find time is not in abundance in the morning when they are getting ready for school or work. As a result, breakfast might be skipped in an effort to get out of the house on time. But families can skirt the issue of time with a few on-the-go foods the whole family can enjoy.
—Individually packaged yogurts make a healthy and quick meal for anyone in the family. A good source of protein and calcium, yogurt is also filled with helpful bacteria that promote digestive health.
—Microwaveable convenience foods come in various shapes and sizes. Choose the healthiest options among them, such as whole wheat or multigrain waffles or pancakes. These foods are easy to heat and eat on the go.
—Keep a container of fresh fruit salad in the refrigerator. A bowl of mixed fruit is refreshing and healthy.
—Whole grain granola bars that feature fruit and nuts can be a quick meal and a satisfying snack.
—Smoothies made from fruit and yogurt are fast and can be stored in portable cups to take in the car on the way to school.
—The cereal aisle at the local grocery store is filled with healthy breakfast options. Cereal manufacturers are increasingly reducing the sugar and boosting the fiber content of popular brands. It doesn’t take long to enjoy a bowl of cereal, even one topped with banana slices or a few strawberries.
—Whip up a fast egg sandwich. Sauté egg whites in a frying pan and place between two slices of toasted whole wheat bread.
—Make a batch of low-fat, high-fiber muffins over the weekend. Grabbing a muffin and a banana is an easy breakfast.
—Instant oatmeal is available in a number of flavors and is a very healthy and filling breakfast option.
—Create parfaits with layers of vanilla yogurt, fruit and granola.
—Use a sandwich or panini maker to create homemade breakfast tarts. Fill bread or pitas with fresh fruit or peanut butter and use the cooker to seal them shut.
For families who simply can’t get in the breakfast swing of things, many schools participate in breakfast programs. If children are routinely missing breakfast at home, find out how to enroll them in breakfast served at school.
Holyoke Enterprise March 22, 2012