Toast or be Toast!

“Eat your breakfast!” Your grandchildren may grumble and groan and swallow their cereal. Have you ever wondered why you were told by your own parents to finish your oatmeal or scrambled eggs?

Don’t overlook this very important meal. Think about how long you have gone without nourishment when you wake up. A healthy breakfast for you and your grandchildren jump-starts the day and replenishes the body after 10 to 12 hours without food. Imagine waiting that long to eat during the day! The word breakfast means “break the fast.”

The morning meal not only refuels you and your grandchildren after many hours of “fasting,” but also gives us many future health benefits. Our brain and muscles need fuel on a regular basis. Sending your grandchild off to school or to a Saturday morning soccer game without breakfast is like trying to drive a car without any gasoline in the tank. It’s hard to get started and even harder to keep going.

Did you know that people of all ages who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

●           Consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol from food

●           Have more strength and endurance

●           Have better concentration and productivity throughout the morning

●           Control or maintain weight more easily

A recent study from the University of Georgia, College of Public Health, Institute of Gerontology has reported that people who reach the ripe old age of 100 tend to consume breakfast more regularly than those who skip the first meal of the day!

This is an especially important meal for children of all ages; from toddlers to teens. According to the American Dietetic Association, those who eat breakfast are more likely to have better:

●          Concentration

●          Problem-solving skills

●          Eye-hand coordination

They may also be more alert and creative and less likely to miss days of school.

But what if you don’t like eating breakfast?

Keeping variety in the morning meal can be fun and easy. Try a quick and easy breakfast burrito. Throw some cut-up vegetables like green peppers, diced tomatoes or onions along with grated cheese into the frying pan with your scrambled eggs and then wrap it all in a warm tortilla. The grandkids will love them because it is more like a snack or lunch. Or make a “breakfast sundae” by topping a bowl of yogurt with sliced apples and granola cereal.

Here are two more effortless breakfast recipe ideas. They will fuel you up for the day:

1 Whole-Wheat Bagel, toasted
2 tsp. Low-fat Cream Cheese
½ cup Fresh Fruit
8 oz. Orange Juice
8 oz. Water
Coffee or Hot Tea (for the grandparents)

2 Low-fat Frozen Waffles
2 Tbsp. Sugar-Free Syrup
1 small Banana
8 oz. Skim Milk
8 oz. Water

Links for more ideas:

Mayo Clinic – Healthy breakfast: Quick, flexible options to grab at home

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-and-nutrition/NU00197

KidsHealth – Breakfast Basics

http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/breakfast.html

Janice Wade-Miller is a nutrition educator in Tallahassee, Florida. She has earned her bachelors and masters degrees in Food and Nutrition from Florida State University. In her role as a health educator, she has assisted all age groups, from young children to senior citizens in learning about good nutrition, health and food safety. Her email address is jmiller@iamforkids.org.

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