Breakfast - Most Important Meal of the Day
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." We've heard it hundreds of times, yet for many individuals, including children, they would rather sleep a few more minutes than sit down to breakfast, or even grab something as they run out the door.
Both researchers and teachers will tell you that children who eat something for breakfast are better learners. Children who have eaten breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, have more problem-solving skills, and better hand-eye coordination.
Smart choices for breakfast include whole grains, fruit and low-fat dairy products. The whole grains and fruit contain high amounts of fiber, which tend to fill you up faster and will delay symptoms of hunger for hours.
For many children, if they have a bowl of cold cereal and a glass of milk, they are happy, while others need a more hearty breakfast meal. You know what type of breakfast eater you have, and need to plan accordingly.
If all your child wants for breakfast is cold cereal, make a choice that will help them make it through until lunch. Look for whole grains, with 3 to 5 grams of fiber and make sure sugar doesn’t appear as one of the first three ingredients on the nutrition facts label. Sugar may be disguised as a word that ends in “ose.” “Ose” words mean that some form of sugar is in the product. Some of the sugar-coated or frosted cereals may have as much as 2-3 teaspoons of sugar for a 1 ounce serving.
Oatmeal is another high fiber choice, and with the variety of instant oatmeal available today, there is surely a flavor your kids will enjoy. It can be prepared in fewer than 2 minutes in a disposable cup or bowl. When paired with fresh fruit and milk, you have a healthy breakfast in a matter of minutes.
If your children want leftover pizza for breakfast, let them have it. A traditional breakfast isn’t necessary, as long as it is nutritious and well balanced. The combinations are limited only by your creativity and imagination. Think out of the box for breakfast ideas, including ways you can save time in the morning. Try some of these ideas.
• Mash a banana into peanut butter and spread over whole wheat toast in fewer than 3 minutes. This one makes eating on the run easy.
• Keep muffins in the freezer and warm them up in the microwave.
• A breakfast casserole takes a little time to prepare but it can be done the evening before then refrigerated. Pop it in the oven in the morning for 45 minutes while everyone is getting ready and you have a quick and nutritious breakfast!
• Set the breakfast table the night before, even if it's only for juice and cereal. You’ll be surprised at how much time it will save you.
• Most kids love French toast, plus it is quick and, easy. Add a little cinnamon to the egg batter for variety. For smaller children, cut the toast into shapes.
• Keep pancake or waffle batter in the refrigerator in a covered bowl, ready to pour on the griddle.
• Use last nights left over chicken and make quesadillas or breakfast burritos in a matter of minutes. Wrap in a paper towel and they can be eaten on the bus or in the car on the way to school.
• Create your own specialty breakfast biscuit. Between the biscuit, place a cooked egg, a sausage patty, a small chicken patty, or a slice of ham with cheese melted on top. This is super quick when you use your leftover biscuits from the weekend.
• Greek yogurt is always a fast choice. With the amount of protein in it, it will help tide you over until lunch. Pair it with a carbohydrate such as fresh fruit and you have a potable breakfast.
• Let’s not forget fruit. Most of it can be just washed and eaten. No prep required, but will add vitamins that your brain needs.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be time consuming or a hassle. Just as you plan what school supplies and clothes to purchase, keep in mind what healthy breakfast foods you will have on hand as well. For more information on creative breakfast ideas, or recipes, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaDue, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or on the web at uaex.edu/Miller
By Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Due
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension
office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.