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Quick Healthy Meals for Busy Families

Feeding a family is no mean feat. Follow these tips to whip up quick healthy meals in a flash.

Fast, Healthy Breakfast Meals continued...

Complex carbohydrates keep glucose levels steady in the blood, which makes for a longer-lasting supply of energy for the brain and body. Protein and healthy fats, like those found in trans-fat free tub margarine, olive oil, and nuts help to keep you and your family full for longer.

Because mornings tend to be chaotic, Salge Blake advises simplicity and planning. “When you pack lunch, pack breakfast, too, especially on the days when kids are rushing out the door early.”

If you or your children don’t like typical breakfast foods, don’t worry. Go for a nontraditional breakfast such as whole grain crackers, cheddar cheese, and grapes. Or serve a small piece of cheese pizza and a glass of 100% juice – or a half sandwich, milk, and fruit.

Start your day right with these balanced meals good for the entire family:

  • Whole-grain toast topped with 1 1/2 ounces melted reduced-fat cheddar cheese; 1 cup cubed fruit
  • 1/2 whole-wheat English muffin with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese; medium banana; served with milk or decaf fat-free latte
  • Mini whole wheat bagel spread with almond butter; 1 cup plain Greek yogurt mixed with ½ cup frozen pureed berries
  • Nut butter pancake roll-ups: microwave two small frozen pancakes and spread with 2 tablespoons nut butter; ½ cup grapes; serve with 8 ounces 1% low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Whole wheat English muffin egg sandwich: Layer ½ of the English muffin with a sliced hard cooked egg, ¼ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and top with other half. Microwave until cheese is melted.
  • Plain oatmeal microwaved with milk instead of water and topped with ¼ cup California raisins and 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon on 1/2 whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese; 1 cup berries; serve with 8 ounces 1% low-fat or fat-free milk
  • 8 ounces coffee-flavored yogurt with 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ cereal mixed in; plum, nectarine, or apple
  • Egg and pita sandwich: 1 egg scrambled in 1 teaspoon olive oil stuffed into small whole-wheat pita pocket and topped with 2 tablespoons salsa and ¼ cup shredded reduced-fat cheese; serve with 8 ounces calcium- and vitamin D-fortified orange juice
  • Breakfast parfait: Layer 1 cup low-fat yogurt; ½ cup crunchy whole-grain cereal; and 1 cup fresh, chopped fruit, or whole fresh or frozen berries
  • Banana smoothie: In a blender, combine 1 cup 1% low-fat or fat-free milk, 1 medium banana, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ,and 1 ice cube. Blend well and drink immediately. Serve with 1 slice whole grain toast.


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