What is the worst diet mistake that many families make? Skipping breakfast!
Weekday mornings can be crazy and it is easy to run out of time to serve your family a healthy breakfast. But eating breakfast is one of the healthiest things your child can do. To avoid that last-minute breakfast rush, have to-go breakfasts planned. Busy schedules run on the energy and nutrients found in a healthy breakfast. When you know your morning will be hectic, plan breakfast the night before. Don't wait until the last minute. Read on to learn why breakfast is so important.
1. Eat Breakfast for Energy!
Eating breakfast refuels your body and replenishes your blood sugar levels. If you want your car to go, you have to put gas in it. Breakfast is the fuel that gives children the energy they need to last all day long. Breakfasts that combine protein, calcium and fiber rev the metabolism, which, for most kids, has been dormant for 10 hours or more after a night of slumber. Kids who eat breakfast daily not only do better in school, but also maintain - or even reduce - body weight and reap the benefits of overall good health.
2. Eat Breakfast to Avoid Starvation
Skipping breakfast puts your child's body in a mini-starvation mode. When the body thinks it is starving, it will do anything it can to hold on to calories. First, the resting metabolic rate is lowered. This means that your child burns fewer calories all day long. Second, the body starts to break down muscle mass for energy. When your child does finally eat something, the food is immediately turned into fat to help last through the next “famine”! This pattern sets your child up for weight gain and obesity.
3. Eat Breakfast to Save Calories.
Many dieters skip breakfast in order to “save” the calories. This thinking is flawed because studies show that those who skip breakfast wind up taking in MORE calories throughout the day than those who start the day with a substantial meal. Skipping breakfast sets your body up to feel hungry throughout the day. And as we all know, hungry children often make poor food choices.
4. Eat Breakfast for Better Grades.
According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination. They may also be more alert and creative, and less likely to miss days of school. Breakfast eaters also have better muscle strength during the morning. Kids who eat breakfast tend to have lower weights than kids who skip breakfast. These kids also tend to be less hungry throughout the day!
Give your child the edge he/she needs to have the most productive and happy day possible. Start each day with a healthy breakfast! Read on for some healthy breakfast suggestions.
HEALTHY BREAKFAST IDEAS
•Oatmeal with flaxseed, blueberries and almonds
•Fresh berries with low-fat yogurt and low-fat granola
•Whole wheat reduced-calorie toast with almond butter
•Scrambled eggs (or egg whites) with veggies (i.e., peppers, mushrooms, onions)
•Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit
•French toast (made with reduced-calorie bread, Splenda, cinnamon, vanilla and egg whites)
•Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs or egg whites in tortilla topped with salsa
•Breakfast quesadilla: open tortilla with scrambled egg, low-fat/fat-free cheese, turkey or ham
•Reduced calorie English muffin with turkey or ham and melted low-fat/fat-free cheese
•Fruit, low-fat/fat-free cheese, and nuts
•Frozen waffle topped with peanut butter
•Frozen waffle topped with low-fat/fat-free cheese
•Low calorie breakfast bar and yogurt
•Low-fat yogurt mixed with bran flakes and dried cranraisins
•Hard-boiled egg sliced and wrapped in a tortilla with turkey/ ham and low-fat/ fat-free cheese
•“Egg McMuffin”: reduced-calorie English muffin with melted low-fat/fat-free cheese
•Warm applesauce topped with cinnamon and Splenda
•Rice with added skim milk, cinnamon, Splenda and chopped bananas
•Banana Dog: Spread peanut butter on a hot dog roll. Add a peeled banana and put a smidge of jelly on top.
•Dried “gorp”: Mix nuts, Puffins cereal and dried fruit.
•Fruit pizza: Heat frozen pizza crust, spread low- fat yogurt and add sliced fruit.
•Fruit (i.e. strawberries) and low-fat cream cheese sandwich (on reduced calorie bread)
•Grilled low-fat/fat-free cheese with sliced tomato
•Grilled 99% fat-free turkey bacon on toast - may add melted low-fat/fat-free cheese