Allyson Felix made an impression with her sleek physique as an Olympic track and field sprinter. Now she's using her fame for a good cause: Blogging for the First Lady's Let's Move organization to help battle childhood obesity. In her October 29 blog, Allyson addressed a topic that can make a difference for kids mentally and physically: Breakfast.
Hoping to serve as a positive role model, Allyson notes that "kids need a nutritious breakfast, too, to keep them energized and focused throughout the school day. One of the most important parts of my training is making sure I eat a healthy breakfast, which helps me perform my best both on the track and off."
This Olympic winner reveals her power breakfast: Oatmeal. Bonus points for parents: It's easy to make and inexpensive.
"Oatmeal is one of my favorite things to eat in the morning before a long training session. It’s my go-to for a power breakfast! Oatmeal is easy to make while at home or on the road, it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it gives me the energy I need to get through my training workouts. To top it off, I’ll add a little milk, fresh fruit and nuts. It may sound simple, but it’s what gets me started each day," says Allyson.
In addition, she noted that the new modifications in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program "are being implemented across America this school year, and kids now have expanded healthy options to start their day. Healthy eating and physical activity can help students perform at their best, which is why you should consider school breakfast as a way for your kids to start the day."
Studies show that kids who eat certain breakfast foods have better memory, higher test scores, more energy and enhanced moods. In particular, breakfasts that include complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal provide the brain with glucose for fuel.
The key to helping your kids eat a good breakfast: Choose foods low on the glycemic index, such as oatmeal. Researchers have determined that eating low-GI breakfasts help kids do better on tests than those who eat a high GI breakfast such as a doughnut.
However, be wary when opting for oatmeal. Some brands contain added sugar and artificial ingredients. Look for types that are all-natural, such as:
- Quaker oats, old fashioned
- Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain, Rolled Oats
- McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal
A variety of other foods are low on the glycemic index that are great for breakfast as well. Learn more by investing in a guide to the index, such as "Glycemic Index Cookbook For Dummies" (click for details).