Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Back to School Breakfast Ideas

“Food can be very transformational, and it can be more than just a dish.  That’s what happened to me when I first went to France.  I fell in love.  And if you fall in love, well, then everything is easy.” 
                                                                                              --Alice Waters

Image result for kids eating breakfast

It is that time of the year again.  Back to school!  New school clothes have been purchased.  New lunchboxes are ready for the first day of school.  Parents are loading up at the grocery store on foods for school breakfasts, lunches, and afterschool snacks. 

All kids (and parents) need breakfast.  What are the ingredients for a healthy breakfast?
  • protein (such as eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, and lentils)
  • whole grains or carbohydrates containing dietary fiber (such as quinoa, whole fruit and vegetables)
  • healthy fats (such as avocado, olive oil and nuts) 

What should you NOT eat?  Avoid foods that cause blood glucose and insulin levels to spike excessively high.  After all, what goes up must come down. If food comes in a box and the first ingredient is “sugar” or “refined wheat flour” pass it up and choose something else!  Refined carbohydrates turn to sugar as soon as they hit your mouth.  Highly processed carbohydrates, such as Honeybuns, Sugar Smacks, Fruit Loops, or instant oatmeal, turn kids little yo-yos of uncontrolled energy.  Extreme highs and lows in blood sugar have been shown to lead to overeating, bad moods, and lack of focus.

Image result for parfaits

Parents want simple, easy breakfast ideas.  At a recent back-to-school bash for Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties, Growing Healthy Kids was invited to share ideas about healthy breakfasts and snacks for young children.  We made dozens of healthy breakfasts parfaits for the kids and parents and EVERYONE loved them!  Here’s the recipe…


  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (if using plain yogurt, add a little local honey)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit (such as sliced bananas, pineapple, blueberries and/or strawberries)
  • ¼ cup organic granola

Layer in a cup or dish and enjoy for breakfast or an afterschool snack!

Do you live in Vero Beach?  Then stop by Patissiere on Old Dixie in downtown Vero, ask for Christian Garcia, the owner, and pick up a bag of the homemade granola.  It is one of my favorite granolas and makes a delicious, healthy topping for parfaits. 

In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids