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Healthy breakfast choices for kids

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Audrey Chandler with the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center gives tips and ideas for healthy and quick breakfasts for kids on the go.

Why should kids eat breakfast?

- Research shows that children who eat breakfast do better in school.

- They stay more focused and learn better because their brain is getting the fuel it needs.

What does a healthy breakfast look like?

- Each meal should incorporate at least 3 food groups.

- Schools are going to provide dairy, grains, and fruit.

- I recommend you add a protein source because it will keep your kids full longer.

Let’s take a look at these back to school meal ideas to get a better idea of what a healthy breakfast looks like.

1.Hit snooze too many times

Meal: Greek Yogurt, hand fruit (banana, apple, cutie), and an oatmeal Muffin

i.Greek yogurt is higher in protein and has good bacteria for a healthy gut

ii.You can make every day a grab-and-go breakfast by meal prepping a few items like oatmeal muffins or zucchini bread. Make these with your kids on the weekends and they’ll be more likely to eat them!

2.You’ve got a few minutes, but let’s keep it simple

Meal: Fruit/Yogurt Smoothie and PB Toast

i.Smoothies are super easy and a great way to incorporate fruits & veggies in a breakfast! But be careful you avoid added sugar with ingredients like flavored yogurts and fruit juices – stick with whole fruit and low fat milk instead. It’s important to eat a fruit or veggie at every meal so our bodies can fight off everything from the common cold to chronic diseases like diabetes.

ii.Whole grains are important at breakfast because they provide fiber, which keeps us full longer, balances blood sugars, and lowers cholesterol. Eat whole grains to avoid the blood sugar roller caused by refined grains like cold cereals, granola bars, and pop-tarts. Look for 100% whole wheat on the label.

3.Early Rise

Meal: Cheesy egg and ham roll-up with dried fruit

i.Eggs are one of the few food sources of Vitamin D – our skin makes most of the Vitamin D we need when we spend time in the sun.

ii.Classic breakfast meats like sausage and bacon have heart disease causing fats and too much sodium. Ham and turkey are better choices. It’s important to eat protein at breakfast because it helps anchor the carbs we eat so our blood sugars stay balanced and we avoid the mid-morning crash.

iii.Dried fruits are antioxidant powerhouses that give you a great dose of fiber too! Just be careful to stick with a small portion because a little goes a long way. Branch out from raisins and cranberries – there are so many dried fruit options now.

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