A nutritionally solid breakfast jump-starts a child’s day in a good way. Perhaps every parent knows that. Morning fuel ignites the body’s engine and revs up the brain. Breakfast sets the body’s metabolism in action and offers energy to boost a person’s mood, alertness, physical coordination, strength, and overall readiness for the day.
With school bells ringing to herald the start of school in Wisconsin and across the United States, many parents are stocking up on healthy foods to offer youngsters each morning.
What foods make the smartest breakfasts for back-to-school kids?
Health and nutrition experts like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic recommend several advantageous options for nutritional breakfasts. Here are some of the most popular picks for morning power foods.
- Eggs – Packed with protein, eggs are a power pick for school-day breakfasts. Fried, hard- or soft-boiled, scrambled, or in omelets, eggs appeal to nearly all kids. Toss in some cheese and finely chopped veggies for extra nutritional oomph. For an extra zippy choice, some parents spoon on some salsa.
- Fresh Fruit – Fresh fruit is a tried-and-true favorite for kids and health experts. An apple, an orange, a few juicy strawberries, or a handful of grapes can provide a lot more nutrition than a cup of sweetened fruit juice and keep sugar intake down considerably. How about cutting up several pieces of fresh fruit to make a fun breakfast buffet for kids? A scoop of peanut butter or cream cheese makes an excellent dip.
- Lean meats and proteins – Young stomachs stay satisfied long into the school morning when breakfast includes something solid from the protein department. Kid-friendly choices include fish, turkey bacon, nuts, legumes, and even leftover bun-less hamburgers.
- Whole grains – Label-reading parents look for 100 percent whole grain on bread and cereal labels. Quinoa, rice cereals, oatmeal, granola, and wheat germ tend to be favorites, especially with dried apricots, dates, or raisins.
- Yogurt – Greek yogurt is all the rage these days among nutritionists, mostly because it tends to provide more protein per ounce than most other kinds. Why not add a small scoop of fruit, granola, or nuts to increase yogurt's dietary power and make it more enticing to youngsters?
Nutritionally savvy parents save the toaster pastries, donuts, and sugary cereals for Saturday morning treats, or shelve them altogether. That strategy sure beats setting kids up for mid-morning blood sugar crashes in the classroom.
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