Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Building a Better Breakfast

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "What's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?" "I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today," said Piglet.  Pooh nodded thoughtfully, "It's the same thing," he said.
                                                                      –A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

I have always enjoyed having a good breakfast.  When I was a little girl, our family would drive from Sacramento to Long Beach, California several times a year to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin.  My uncle was a coach for Long Beach State College and he always believed that breakfast should be the biggest and most important meal of his day.  Our breakfast choices always included eggs, fresh squeezed orange juice, pancakes, oatmeal, and sausage.  No matter what, we always ate breakfast together, talking, laughing, and sharing. 

Are YOUR kids getting a good breakfast?  How about YOU? Here are 4 breakfast tips to inspire you:
  1. Breakfast gives your kids (and you) the energy to make good decisions and to be alert. 
  2. Having breakfast is one of the secrets to staying at a healthy weight and having a healthy metabolism.  People who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat when they do eat. 
  3. Plan breakfast to include protein (eggs, cheese, milk), some high-fiber carbs (steel cut oats, beans, fresh seasonal fruit, whole grain toast or tortillas), and a little fat (nuts, nut butter, coconut oil, avocados). 
  4. Having a good breakfast is one of the secrets to longevity, as documented in The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner.  “In the Blue Zones, the biggest meal of the day is typically eaten during the first half of the day.”* 

Here’s one of my favorite breakfast ideas: scramble an egg in a little coconut oil, slice half an avocado, squeeze a little lime on the avocado, and wrap it all in a gluten-free tortilla (my favorites are made by Toufayan Bakeries).   If you have any baked potatoes or sweet potatoes leftover from the night before, you can add a little when you scramble the egg! 

Another great breakfast idea is to cook several servings of steel cut oats on Sunday to eat in the first part of the week.  Let the kids add their favorite toppings such as:
  • chopped pecans or walnuts
  • dried fruit (raisins, craisins, or cherries)
  • cinnamon
  • ground flax seeds, sunflower, or chia seeds
  • fresh fruit (sliced banana, peaches, or strawberries)
  • soy or almond milk
  • honey or chopped dates (for a little natural sweetener)

For more great breakfast ideas, check out Nourish and Flourish:  Kid-Tested Tips and Recipes to Prevent Diabetes available at amazon.

In gratitude, 
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

*The Blue Zones is the term for regions around the world where people live the longest.