ISU Extension Dietitian: Power Up with Breakfast

By Rachel Wall, ISU Extension Dietitian

It’s back to school season! Before you send your kids out the door and off to school make sure you offer them a delicious and nutritious breakfast to get the day off to a good start. Research shows that breakfast is a very important meal and breaking an overnight fast can make a major difference in children’s overall health and well-being. Eating a smart breakfast can not only improve behavior and school performance, but also foster a healthy weight.• Start with some powerful protein

o Protein, often a missing component in morning meals, helps children go strong and stay focused until lunch.

o Go lean with protein choices: an egg, slice of Canadian bacon, slice of deli meat or cheese, container of low-fat yogurt, or peanut butter on toast.

Scrambled Egg Muffins

Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 100 Fat: 6g Saturated fat: 2g Carbohydrate: 3g Sodium: 230mg Fiber: 1g

• Add in nutrient-rich whole grains

o Whole grains provide an extra nutrition punch; they have more fiber and nutrients, and tend to digest slower for longer lasting energy.

o Serve kids whole grains cereals like oatmeal, or try whole grain breads, muffins, waffles, pancakes, or rolls.

Crispy Granola

Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 150 Fat: 5g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrate: 26g Sodium: 20mg Fiber: 3g

• Get fresh with fruits and vegetables

o Breakfast is a great time for kids to enjoy produce

o Go with fresh fruit or whatever is in season

o Canned options and frozen fruits are great in yogurt parfaits or smoothies

o Try chopped vegetables in an omelet or a glass of vegetable juice

Breakfast Splits

Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 357 Fat: 3g Saturated fat: 1g Carbohydrate: 77g Sodium: 134 mg Fiber: 6g

• Make it routine

o Get organized the night before

o Keep breakfast simple

o Pack your breakfast to go

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