How to make sure your kids eat a healthy breakfast

I think we can all agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone (and no mom and dad, coffee for breakfast does not cut it). A nutritious breakfast can provide up to one-fourth of child’s daily nutrient needs. Children who forgo breakfast are not able to make up these missing nutrients later in the day.

In 2009, a research study found that 11 cereals contained just as much, if not more, sugar as a doughnut. Despite all of those “fortified vitamins,” it does not stack up to what whole fruits and foods can do to boost brain power in the mornings.

Breakfast cereals also do not provide the good fats needed to foster brain growth and brain power. It often contains food dyes, which can impair children to think clearly and sometimes not behave so well. It also pulls trace minerals from our bodies.

Cereal lacks protein to help stabilize blood sugars, which allows children to behave better in school and keeps their brains from crashing mid-day.

Research has found that kids who eat breakfast:

  • Have higher test scores
  • Miss less school and are tardy less often
  • Are less likely to eat more later in the day and weigh less
  • Are more likely to get the nutrients they need to get through the morning
  • Have an easier time focusing, concentrating, solving problems and learning
  • Behave in the classroom

However, with just a little planning, we can all provide a better breakfast for our families every morning. Here is how:

Follow Chicago Parent Blogger Mandy Fayne and pre-make some of her muffins on Sundays. This can offer a quick grab and go for those rushed mornings. You can always add shredded zucchini or carrots to make it heartier.

Pre-make the pancake mix the night before and add smashed banana to it. This is what I do since my kids love pancakes. You can make the pancakes and put them in a baggie in the fridge for the next day. I pop them in the toaster so they taste just as fresh as the day I made them.

Homemade granola is super easy. My husband and daughter love my Banana Nut Paleo Granola. This also turns into an ideal after-school snack, too.

Bake your bacon. Yes I said it, bacon! (Just make sure it is nitrate-free). Get out your cookie sheet, place your bacon in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 10 minutes. No need to get your stovetop dirty and save yourself from getting grease splattered on you.

Pre-make a fruit salad using seasonal produce. Apples, pears and oranges can make a nice fall fruit salad. Sprinkle on a little lemon and cinnamon to help it keep from browning and hemp seeds for the Omega 3 good fats. Add some Greek Yogurt for the protein boost and you have a perfect breakfast.

Mini-quiches also are a wonderful make-ahead option and you can have fun adding different flavors and veggies to change things up a bit.

There is no need to be fancy in the mornings, but a little bit of planning the night before can really make your mornings more stress free.

What are some of your favorite ways to build a better breakfast?

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