Don't Skip Breakfast If You Want to Succeed in SchoolYou have heard it hundreds of times before, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Yet, for many individuals, including children, they would rather sleep a few more minutes than sit down to breakfast.
TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Both researchers and teachers will tell you that children who take the time to eat something for breakfast are better learners. Children who have eaten breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills, and 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 will need to plan accordingly.
If all your child wants for breakfast is cold cereal, choose wisely. 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 a flavor to please everyone on the market; plus it can be prepared in fewer than 2 minutes. 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, give in and let them have it. A traditional breakfast isn’t always 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 night’s 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 scrambled eggs, 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.
- 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 me at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Miller County 400 Laurel, Suite 215, Texarkana, call 870-779-3609, or e-mail Chaley@uaex.edu.
Try this tasty Oatmeal Raisin Muffin for a quick, nutritious breakfast that can be made ahead of time.
OATMEAL RAISIN MUFFINS
Non-stick cooking spray
1 and one-half cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
One-third cup sugar
One-half teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup uncooked quick cooking oatmeal
One-half cup raisins
1 cup fat-free milk
One-third cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (or use paper liners). In a large bowl, sift (or mix) together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir in the oatmeal and raisins. In a separate bowl, beat together egg and milk. Add applesauce to milk mixture. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, and stir only until dry ingredients are wet. Batter will be lumpy. Fill 12 muffin cups two-thirds full of batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
One muffin has 140 calories, 1 g total fat, 4 g protein, 29 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 312 mg sodium.
By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service