Wednesday, August 21, 2013



"What you do has far greater impact than what you say."
                                                ---Stephen Covey

My best friend, Chris Ann, surprised me this summer when she invited me to celebrate my birthday at a great little restaurant called "Three Doors Down from Nancy".  The restaurant was, indeed, three doors down from Nancy, which turned out to be a little dress shop.  I asked Chris Ann to take this picture of me because, come on, how often does something this cool happen to yours truly?  What magical experiences have YOU had during your summer vacation? 

Now that it is the end of August, it is back to school for parents who can lead by example with healthy eating habits.  Back to school for the kids means alarm clocks, getting a healthy breakfast before leaving the house, and packing a school lunch. I talked about school lunches last week, so let's back up and talk about breakfast. 
Here are a few questions:
How many days a week do your kids eat breakfast?
How often do they skip it?
What do they eat to kickstart their day into high gear?
Does your breakfast include some protein? 
What are you having for breakfast to set the right example?

Why is breakfast such an important meal for the kids (and you)?  Here are reasons why:

  • Breakfast is our first meal of the day.  
  • It literally means “break the fast” after not eating all night.  Breakfast is the meal that gives our bodies and minds the energy to get up and go. 
  • When you skip breakfast, you do more harm than good. 
  • Kids who do not have breakfast do not perform as well in school. 
  • Choosing a breakfasts with either soluble fiber (found in oats, apples, and pears) or insoluble fiber (found in whole grain breads and waffles) actually protects you against blood sugar spikes and crashes later in the day.

Here's a BIG reason to eat breakfast.  Did you know...that one of the key habits of “successful losers” (from a national database of over 5,000 people who lost at least 30 pounds and kept them off for at least a year) is that they eat breakfast every day?  Let’s give our children the fuel for their brains to perform and their bodies to be in great shape.  Breakfast…it does a body good!

Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats is one of my favorite breakfast foods. Steel cut oats are a less processed version of what most people think of when you say “oatmeal”.  Oats are full of soluble fiber, which acts like a scrubber for keeping the bad cholesterol from sticking to or staying inside of our blood vessels.  Other foods high in soluble fiber include apples and pears.  Steel cut oats take up to 30 minutes to cook, so a tip for making healthy breakfasts for the kids (and you) is to cook it on Sunday, then just heat it up to make a great breakfast for 2-3 days.  Serve with some almond or soy milk, a little cinnamon, agave nectar or honey, and some diced apples.  Add a piece of whole grain toast and the kids will be thanking you for the brainpower food!
Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats make a delicious - and healthy - start to the day!  

Use one of the 100 calorie whole grain flat breads to make a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Look for the ones that have 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving.  Add a glass of almond or soy milk and hit the power button for school! 
SOAR LIKE AN EAGLE THIS YEAR AT SCHOOL!  This is a picture I took recently in Sebastian, Florida.  

You’ve got to watch the video of this little kid with his words of empowerment he learned at pre-k.  Wish every kid started with this kind of attitude.  Thank a teacher for making a difference!  Click here and scroll down to watch the video.

Lead by example.  When you go shopping with your kids, talk with them about breakfast ideas and involve them in the decisions.  With just a little bit of planning, you can send your kids off to school with a breakfast that will kickstart their day and help them be smart and healthy!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.