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Healthy Mornings

You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it really is. Our bodies have fasted all night and they need nutrients and energy to start the day off right.

Children especially need to eat a healthy breakfast to perform their best and to continue with the growing and developing that they do each and every day.

Eating a good breakfast has been shown to improve test scores and concentration in children at school. Kids who eat breakfast have better eye-hand coordination and are more likely to participate in physical activity. They also tend to eat healthier overall and if weight is an issue, it is important to note that those who start the day with a meal tend to weigh less than those who skip breakfast.

The type of fuel they put into their bodies is important. High sugar, low fiber foods like donuts and pastries will give them an initial jolt of energy, but then they will crash mid-morning because of the large load of simple sugar.

Eating grains high in fiber and adding a protein source will keep them full longer and prevent the quick rise and fall in blood sugar and energy. It will also provide the nutrients they need to do their best.

Have them choose an item from each of the food groups below:
1 whole grain waffle
2 small whole grain pancakes (3” diameter)
1 small whole wheat Tortilla (6” diameter)
1⁄2 cup Oatmeal
1⁄2 to 1-cup whole grain cereal (check serving size on box)
1⁄2 large whole-wheat bagel
1⁄2 whole wheat English muffin
1 piece of whole wheat bread toasted
1 small whole grain muffin (2 1⁄2 ” diameter)
1⁄2 cup juice or 1⁄2 cup serving of whole fruit
Note: Recommended amount of juice per day is 4 oz for children 6 years and under and 8 oz for those 7 years and older. It is always best to eat the whole fruit than drink the juice of a fruit.
1 small banana (6 inches)
1 small apple
1⁄2 cup cut up fruit
1⁄2 cup or 16 grapes
4 oz fruit cup or applesauce containers (no sugar added)
1 small orange
1⁄2 cup mandarin oranges (fruit juice sweetened)
1⁄2 cup berries
Milk or Meat/Bean
6-8 oz low-fat or fat-free milk
1 scrambled egg
1 oz slice of turkey, chicken or ham
1 oz turkey bacon

  Dr. Deb's Bottom Line


Always have your child start his or her day with a healthy breakfast. This includes a whole grain, a fruit and a serving of milk or meat.

Healthy Breakfast = 1⁄2 cup Fruit (1⁄2 cup juice or 1⁄2 whole fruit) + 1 Meat or Milk Option + 1 Whole Grain Option






Breakfast Options: Feel free to exchange one grain for another grain, 1 milk for a meat or other milk option, or 1 fruit for another.

1⁄2 cup juice + any of the 5 min, 10 min or on the run options listed below.



5-Minute Options:
• Waffle with yogurt topped with berries
• Cereal, milk and banana
• Toast with nut butter and sliced apples
• English muffin with cheese



10-Minute Options:
• Oatmeal with milk, and berries
• Pancakes with fruit and a glass of milk
• BLT made with turkey bacon
• Tortilla with a scrambled egg inside (you can add cut up veggies to the eggs)
• Hard boiled egg with toast and fruit



On the Run options:
• 1⁄2 nut sandwich with sliced fruit inside
• Muffin, yogurt and fruit
• 1⁄2 turkey, chicken or ham sandwich
• 1⁄2 bagel with cream cheese and fruit
• Nut Butter Roll Ups: Spread nut butter on a tortilla and wrap it around a banana or sliced apples
• Cream Cheese Roll Up: Spread cream cheese on a tortilla and wrap it around a banana or sliced apples and sprinkle a few raisins on top
• Fruit Smoothies: place 1⁄2 cup of fat free yogurt and 1⁄2 cup fat free milk in a blender with your child’s favorite fruit, blend and serve with a piece of toast or 1⁄2 English muffin