Hectic mornings don’t often leave time for a healthy breakfast, but it’s crucial that kids start their day with a balanced meal. If families have an unbalanced menu for their waking hours, they might end up feeling even hungrier after eating. If making a healthy breakfast seems daunting as your family gets ready for back to school, a few tips can help families get on the right track.
“A good rule of thumb I like to use is to try to incorporate three food groups into your meals — with the five food groups being fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains (preferably whole grains) and protein,” says Sam Toffoli, M.S., R.D.N., a registered dietitian with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative.
A few breakfast ideas Toffoli recommends include:
- Low-fat Greek yogurt with less than 12 grams of sugar per serving with ½ cup fresh fruit that is in season topped with whole grain granola (protein, fruit, grains)
- Two hard-boiled eggs with one whole-wheat waffle and one serving of fruit (protein, grains, fruit)
- Lower-sugar oatmeal cup with fresh fruit and about 1 tablespoon of either peanut butter or almond butter (grains, fruit, protein)
- Avocado toast prepared with ¼ avocado and salt/pepper, one slice toasted whole-wheat bread topped with one slice of turkey bacon
- Vegetable quiche cups prepared with eggs, low-fat cheese, and vegetables of choice (protein, vegetables, grains)
Don’t Forget to Check the Labels
When there isn’t time to prepare a proper meal, it can be tempting to resort to instant oatmeal or granola bars. It’s a good idea to check the nutrition labels on those kinds of foods to make sure that they have less than 8-10 grams of added sugar in them.
If the added sugar content is more than that, Toffoli mentions “it does not mean they can never be consumed. In moderation, they can help to support a balanced diet.”
With these simple tips in mind, families can make sure they have a great start to heading back to school.
For more tips on healthy foods and helping your family live a healthier lifestyle, visit our Healthy Weight Initiative resources, including a video on health snacks. For information on cooking classes, visit the Fit4AllFamilies schedule.