Nutrition Tip of the Week: Your New Go-To BreakfastsAt the start of the school year, we often find our schedules in such chaos, with so many things to do, that a proper breakfast is not a priority; quick-and-easy wins over balanced-and-nutritious.
Nutrition Tip 8-20-21
3 Back-to-school breakfast ideas that the whole family can enjoy
At the start of the school year, we often find our schedules in such chaos, with so many things to do, that a proper breakfast is not a priority; quick-and-easy wins over balanced-and-nutritious.
What simple rules should we follow for breakfast?
- Keep the added sugars to a minimum.
- Try to get some fiber in with fruits, veggies, and/or whole grains.
- Make protein a priority.
Foods like toaster pastries and high sugar cold cereals (which tend to be the popular go-to choices for back to school) are a miss for all three rules. The below suggestions follow all three rules and are a snap to prepare.
Option 1 – Scrambled Egg Muffins w/ a side of fruit
*Requires basic cooking and planning ahead of time
There are many variations on this, but the ingredient list is simple:
- Diced veggies of choice. The more, the better! (chopped spinach, finely diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms all work well)
- Optional (but delicious) shredded cheese and/or breakfast meats
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add salt and pepper.
- In a greased muffin tin, place your desired combination of fillings into each muffin cup. Veggies can be pre-sauteed or added raw.
- Pour the whisked eggs into each muffin cup until the liquid almost reaches the top.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until set.
These are easy to make ahead of time in large batches. Additionally, they freeze and reheat well. In 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, you can make a week’s worth of breakfasts! For a fun idea, let each of the kids pick their own veggies and meat fillings and help prepare their own muffin tray.
Option 2 – Overnight Oats
*Requires minimal assembly and planning the night before
The basic ingredients:
- 1/2 a cup of old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of fruit
Mix all ingredients in a container (a mason jar works well), and leave them in the fridge overnight. Top with chopped nuts, nut butter, or low sugar granola in the morning. For children, you may want to add a little bit of honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar when serving.
The deluxe version—take oatmeal to the next level:
Base – Use all of the below
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (dry measure)
- 2/3 cup milk of choice
- 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds (Can be omitted, but they add healthy fats and great texture)
- Dash salt
Sweetener – pick ONE of the below.
- 1-2 packets non-caloric sweetener of choice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1 scoop protein powder (* this one will bump the protein too but will alter the texture)
Add-in Options – Flavor changers; choose 1 or mix it up
- Strawberries and blueberries (about a half cup of each chopped) plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 sliced banana plus 2 tablespoons chopped nuts or 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips plus 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- Chopped apple, a dash of cinnamon, and chopped nuts
Once again, mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight in a mason jar.
Option 3 – Yogurt Parfait
*Requires very minimal assembly at breakfast time
- High protein, low sugar yogurt (plain Greek)
- Fruit of Choice
- Additional toppings. (Be creative here and choose from a variety of fun foods, including granola, a drizzle of honey, chopped nuts, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, hemp or chia seeds, high fiber cold cereal, mini chocolate, or peanut butter chips… the list is endless!)
Remember that for options 2 & 3, you can choose the fat content (zero fat to full fat) and type (dairy/plant-based) of milk and yogurt. Tailor these ideas to the needs of your family.