Healthy Breakfast Is Essential for Kids

Expert shares tips for morning meals they can’t pass up.

Kids who skip breakfast will be nutritionally short-changed all day, an expert says.

“Growing bodies and developing brains need regular, healthy meals,” Carole Adler, a dietitian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in an agency news release.

The morning meal doesn’t have to include traditional breakfast foods. Give children foods they like, as long as you maintain a healthy balance, she said. For example, they might like leftovers from last night’s dinner or a turkey sandwich to start their day.

If your child loves sugary cereals, she suggested mixing a bit of that with a whole-grain, nutrient-rich healthier type of cereal.

“Nothing has to be off the table altogether, and sometimes just a taste of something your kids like is enough to keep them happy,” Adler said.

Try to provide a breakfast that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep children feeling full and able to focus until lunch. Protein choices include an egg, some nuts, a slice of deli meat or cheese, or a container of yogurt.

Don’t let children skip breakfast, even if they have to eat it on the run, she added. For example, they can head out the door with a piece of fruit, a bag of nut-and-fruit trail mix, a whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter or almond butter, and a carton of milk.

“A fruit-filled shake with milk or yogurt takes only a couple of minutes to drink,” Adler said.

If you’re pressed for time in the morning, Adler recommended taking 10 minutes each night to prepare for breakfast the next day. You can chop up fruit to add to yogurt or cereal, cut up vegetables for an omelet, or mix muffin or whole-grain waffle batter and put it in the fridge.

Other preparations may include getting out a pan for pancakes or a blender for smoothies, and placing a bowl of nut-and-fruit trail mix on the table for your children to dip into before they walk out the door, Adler suggested.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Eating Protein-packed Breakfast May Prevent Body Fat Gain

A study published in Obesity shows that consuming a high-protein breakfast (containing 35 g of protein) may prevent body fat gain, reduce daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilize glucose levels among overweight teens who would normally skip breakfast.

The researchers fed two groups of overweight teens who reported skipping breakfast between five and seven times a week either normal-protein breakfast meals or high-protein breakfast meals. A third group of teens continued to skip breakfast for 12 weeks. The normal-protein breakfast meal was milk and cereal and contained 13 g of protein. The high-protein breakfast meals included eggs, dairy, and lean pork that contained 35 g of protein.

Participants in the groups were instructed to report feelings of hunger and their daily intakes of food and beverages. Their body weight and body composition were measured at the beginning and end of the 12-week period. In addition, the participants wore a device that assessed minute-to-minute glucose levels throughout the day.

The researchers found that the group of teens who ate high-protein breakfasts reduced their daily food intake by 400 calories and lost body fat mass, while the groups who ate normal-protein breakfast or continued to skip breakfast gained additional body fat. When individuals ate a high-protein breakfast, they voluntarily consumed less food the rest of the day. In addition, teens who ate high-protein breakfast had more stable glucose levels than the other groups.

Source: Institute of Food Technologists

Bagel with Egg Foo Yung

Ingredients

6 eggs
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced vertically
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup each red and green bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup bean sprout or shredded cabbage
2 tsp oil, divided
2 tsp soy sauce
4 bagels, split
green onion for garnish

Method

  1. Beat together eggs, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Combine onion, garlic, red and green peppers, and bean sprouts. Divide mixture in half to make 2 large crepes.
  3. Over high heat in a 10-inch (25 cm) non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp oil. Add half of the vegetable mixture. Stir fry 1 minute. Sprinkle with 1 tsp soya sauce and stir fry 1/2 minute longer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Pour half of the egg mixture (1/2 cup) over vegetables in skillet. As eggs begin to set, tilt pan and lift edges of crepe to allow the uncooked egg to flow under. Remove crepe from heat and cut in half. Fold each half and place over a split bagel. Close bagel.
  5. Repeat with remaining ingredients and make 2 more sandwiches. Garnish with green onion. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Style Manitoba

In Pictures: Breakfasts


Today’s Comic

Roasted Chicken with Moroccan Spices

Ingredients

1 organic chicken, about 4 1b
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cinnamon sticks
1 thyme sprig

Lemon Stock Syrup

5 lemons, quartered
juice of 2 large lemons
2-1/4 1b superfine sugar
sea salt and black pepper
8 cups water
few thyme sprigs
few rosemary sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and set aside.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the lemon stock syrup into a large pan and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the chicken pieces, except the breasts, making sure that they are covered by the stock syrup. Poach for 10 minutes, then add the chicken breasts and top off with a little hot water if necessary. Gently poach for another 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces. Let cool in the hot stock.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the cooled chicken pieces from the lemon stock with a slotted spoon and pat them dry with paper towels. (The strained stock can be used once more but it does become quite bitter with time.)
  4. Spread the harissa paste evenly over the chicken pieces then sprinkle over the ras el hanout and some seasoning.
  5. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, thyme, and 3-4 lemon halves from the stock syrup. Pan-fry for a few minutes until the lemons are slightly caramelized around the edges and the cinnamon and thyme have infused the butter with a lovely aroma.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and pan-fry for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 5 minutes until the chicken pieces are just firm and cooked through. Let rest for a few minutes before serving, with new potatoes and green beans or zucchini.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s MAZE