Quick Breakfasts for Busy Families
Our dietitian offers tips and recipes for great breakfasts on the go.
Skipping breakfast is like starting on a
long road trip with your fuel gauge almost on empty. You're bound to run out of
gas halfway through your busy morning.
Yet as many as 37% of young adults do skip breakfast, according
to one survey. Often for the wrong reasons: We're too busy. We're trying to
watch our weight. We don't have time to
make toast, much less eggs and bacon.
The truth is: breakfast is key to health and weight
management. Eating a good breakfast actually helps you eat fewer calories over
the course of the day, according to recent studies in the Journal of Nutrition and in
Environmental Nutrition. The right breakfast foods -- those high in
fiber and protein -- keep your energy up throughout the morning and stave off
hunger for hours. The wrong foods -- sugary refined cereals and white breads --
may make you eat more for lunch than normal.
Plus, breakfast serves up a good dose of key nutrients you and
your children need: Calcium and potassium from milk; vitamin C,
folate, and fiber from oranges or orange juice; and, fiber, folate, and iron
from whole grains and fruits.
So do yourself and your children a favor. No matter how hectic
your mornings, take just five minutes for a fast breakfast. To help you get
started, here are my golden rules for busy breakfasts. Below the golden rules
you'll find three fun recipes your family will
5 Golden Rules for Busy Breakfasts
1. Go for 5 Grams of Fiber (or More)
Children eating the typical American diet are simply not
getting enough fiber. At age 5, children should get at least 10 grams of fiber
each day. By age 10, they should get 15 grams, and teenagers should get 20
grams. After age 20, you should get 25 to 35 grams a day. Choose whole grains
and fruits with your breakfast to get fiber -- two slices of whole wheat bread
provide 6 grams of fiber; 1 cup of fresh berries or 1 cup of raisin bran
provides 5 grams or more.
2. Try Breakfast-Friendly Fruits
Fruits not only provide fiber but also important vitamins and
minerals. Try one of these as you're rushing out the door.
4 prunes = 3.1 grams fiber
1 cup orange segments = 3.4 grams fiber
1 cup applesauce, unsweetened = 3 grams fiber
1 cup sliced peaches = 3.1 grams fiber
1 cup banana slices = 3.1 grams fiber
1 large apple = 4.2 grams fiber
1 pear = 4 grams fiber
1 cup berries = 5 grams fiber
1 1/4 cups sliced strawberries = 3.1 grams fiber
3. Aim for 5 Grams of Protein
Protein helps fill you up and staves off hunger longer. You can
find protein in plenty of fast-breakfast products: Cereals, breakfast bars, and
instant shakes. Just check the label to make sure it contains enough protein
and not too much sugar. You can easily add 5 grams of protein to your homemade
breakfast. Just add 1/4 cup of pasteurized egg substitute to the blender when
you make a smoothie. Or pour 1/2 cup of low-fat milk into your cereal. Use
whole milk in cereal for children under age 2.