[Back to School Series] Healthy Breakfast
[Back to School Series]: Healthy Breakfast “on the go”
Its barely July… do we have to think about SCHOOL already?! Well, no -- but I am thinking about all of you moms out there wanting to make some big changes in your own lives. Health comes with intention.
For me, the school year means routines, schedules and so much more productivity than I give to July… so I’m batching this series out a little early this year with some updates! So, a *little* pre-emptive planning about how 2019 - 2020 might go down for your family might mean healthy change is on the horizon!
No need to stress over the new morning routine. A few years ago, in the Active Family Kitchen, I made a series of videos to give you the low-down on some basics for fueling your kids (the right way!) during the school year. Adding some updates and a link to the video below. Hey, maybe I will go LIVE again this August to demo all the food, gadgets and products we keep in our pantry!
In this post we will learn about the most important meal of the day - and how to really make it count! BREAK-FAST!
We always start our day off with a glass of water. If you (or the kids) prefer a little flavor in theirs, you can add slices of fruit such as lemons, limes, or oranges. You could also eat an orange or apple with your glass of water for a quick fiber-fix. Stay away from the sports and energy drinks! They are packed with sugar and caffeine- both of which are completely unnecessary for children at all- but especially in the mornings. Have you seen how children act at a birthday party after they eat a piece of cake and other treats? Why would you want them to start their day on a sugar-high? This will greatly affect their metabolism and ability to concentrate (in a seriously negative way!). Not to mention this can lead to heart problems at a very young age. Just keep it simple by sticking to water.
Here are 5 great ways to start the day off right:
The foundation of breakfast in our house is farm-fresh eggs. We get them locally from a family friend- just rinse and scramble! You can spice up scrambled and over-easy eggs by adding spinach or kale, salsa (salsa verde is my personal favorite), bell peppers, avocado, or season with some salt and pepper, or dill weed.
An easy breakfast you can make at night to have ready for the next morning (or two) is “egg muffins”. In a bowl, mix-up some eggs with your favorite veggies and seasonings and spoon ⅓ cupfuls into a muffin tin (we use a mini muffin tin) and bake at 350o for 20-25 minutes.
Another breakfast staple for us are kid-approved banana pancakes. In a small blender we mix 1 egg and 1 banana (always a 1:1 ratio- just depends on how many you want to make). You can keep it as simple as that, or add some coconut or almond flour to thicken them up a bit. We sometimes add cinnamon or cocoa powder for a little flavor boost.
Another simple but nutrient-packed breakfast you can make the night before is overnight oats in a mason jar. One of my personal favorite versions of this is pumpkin chia. Measure out 2 cups of oats (rolled, gluten-free), 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 ½ cups milk (almond or coconut), ½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), 3 tablespoons organic maple syrup, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Layer all of these into the mason jar and let them sit overnight in the fridge and voila! They are ready to eat when you wake up. Other great add-ins are pecans, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, or homemade jams & jellies. We make our own apple, peach or nectarine preserves simply - just rinse the fruit, remove seeds and simmer on low heat until soft (peel on for added nutrition). Layer those oats with these fruits and some almond butter!
If you forgot to prep the night before and are in a rush, you could also just easily throw some fruits and veggies into a blender for a quick shake. This is actually our breakfast 5 days out of the week! Add some berries, kale, chia seeds with some ice- you can’t really go wrong! We use unsweetened almond milk and vegan protein powder as a base for our shake. It is really like a milkshake - but without a ton of sugar or artificial sweeteners. I recommend StandardProcess.com, Vega or Orgain brands at Costco.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Serving of plant-based protein (chocolate or vanilla)
Frozen or fresh fruits
Extras: Seeds, Cacao
Remember- keep it whole and keep it simple. Getting kids involved in the process helps them to learn to appreciate what they are eating- and ultimately, respect their bodies and their health.
Things we avoid:
Milk & dairy products
Foods labeled “whole” like whole grain bread, etc.
Canned fruit (likely in syrup)
Children learn and communicate better when their metabolism is well fed. Try something new this year!