Don’t Skip Breakfast
After a long night of sleep, your child’s engine is on empty. A healthy breakfast, containing protein and fiber, will get his engine going. Protein and fiber will satisfy your child’s hunger and keep him feeling full until lunchtime. In fact, studies show children who eat breakfast do better in school.
Mornings are when even picky eaters are hungry. Don’t miss this opportunity to fill your child’s tank with whole foods instead of processed foods. Unfortunately, the most important meal of the day, usually consists of highly processed foods, stripped of their nutritional value.
Most kids begin the day with sugared cereals, toaster tarts, instant oatmeal, or liquid breakfast drinks. Whole grain boxed breakfast cereals have been heated to the point most of the nutrients have been destroyed. Pancakes and waffles are usually made with white flour and topped with some form of sugar. Even “health” bars often contain lots of sugar.
“Top of the mornin’,” quips Flynn.
For those mornings when sausage or bacon is on the menu, you can add nitrates to the list of unhealthy ingredients consumed. All cured meats, including breakfast sausage, bacon, luncheon meats, and hot dogs, contain nitrites and nitrates. Once inside the body, they can form nitrosamines, a cancer-causing chemical. These carcinogenic compounds have been associated with cancer. They have also been linked with leukemia and ADD/ADHD in children.
Children, who have small tummies, and the picky eater, who is consuming limited foods, shouldn’t eat meats containing nitrates. Always look for nitrate-free meats. In addition, these products usually are high in fat, and the fat is where contaminates are stored.
So What Can You Make For Breakfast?
A healthful breakfast doesn’t have to take a lot of time. In fact, most breakfasts take only five minutes to prepare. Make rolled oats, not the instant kind. My favorite is with apples and walnuts, but add any dried fruit or mash a soft fruit like a banana into your oatmeal. Prepare enough for two mornings and refrigerate half for later in the week. All you have to do is add a little more liquid, heat, and stir. Hard-boiled eggs are another breakfast item that can be made in advance of your busy morning. Toast is great, when it’s whole grain. Spread a little butter or fruit-only jelly and you have some sticking power. Left-over brown rice from last night’s dinner can be warmed with milk or chicken broth for a nutritious start to the day. Add a piece of fruit or yogurt. Fruit smoothies come together in a flash right in your blender. And it takes only a minute to scramble a few eggs. French toast made with whole wheat bread and top with applesauce. Don’t forget blueberries, a super way to start your morning.
Grab and Go
Don’t have time to cook? Then grab and go: Hard-boiled egg or cheese with piece of fruit. Who says that you have to have “breakfast” food? Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread. How about an egg salad sandwich or a piece of chicken from last night’s dinner? A handful of nuts, sliced fruit, and a oatmeal cookie (only if you made the cookie yourself with whole grains and honey) will be more nutritious than boxed kids’ cereal.
Click Here for the blog, “What’s Breakfast without Bacon?”
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