School Lunch Program
Eating breakfast is an important part of powering-up your body for the day. Eating a balanced breakfast can help keep your family alert, improve mood, and reduce mid-morning food cravings.
Did you know?
- People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and diabetic than those who usually don't.
- Children who eat breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem solving skills, and hand-eye coordination.
- The State of Minnesota Breakfast Study showed that "students who ate breakfasts before starting school had a general increase in math grades and reading scores, increase student attention, reduced nurse visits, and improved student behaviors."
Unfortunately, many breakfast foods contain a lot of sugar and have been stripped of their natural nutrients. Try to avoid frosted and chocolate cereals, donuts, white bread and high sugar breakfast bars. Instead of sugary juices, provide your children with 100% fruit juices or fat-free or low-fat milk. Eating only sugary foods may cause your child to have erratic energy levels. Eating a balanced breakfast will help get them going and sustain their energy until lunch time.
A healthy breakfast does not have to take a lot of time. Stick to the basics and serve simple foods that are nutritious and quick in the morning. For ideas, follow our ten tips for nourishing ways to kick-start the day.
- Oatmeal in an instant- Instant oatmeal is great on a cold morning and contains fiber and vitamins. Choose oatmeal that isn't already pre-sweetened. Sweeten it with raisins or fresh fruit.
- Smoothie madness- Blend frozen fruit (bananas and berries are great), low-fat or fat-free milk, and 100% fruit juice for a quick, tasty breakfast smoothie with lots of nutrients.
- Go 100% whole grain-100% whole grain, fiber containing cereals served with low or fat-free milk are a healthier alternative to sugary cereals. Whole-wheat muffins with smashed bananas are easy and tasty as well!
- Eggxactly! Boil, scramble, or poach eggs and serve on whole-wheat toast - they're packed with nutrition and, in a appropriate portions, are great for kids.
- Toaster treats- Frozen whole-grain waffles take almost no time to make. Top them with berries, low-sugar apple sauce or sliced bananas instead of syrup.
- Go Nutty! Spreading peanut or almond butter on whole-grain toast is a great way to get both protein and fiber.
- Go Fruity! A fresh fruit cup with a dollop of low-fat or fat-free yogurt is a great way to start the day. Apples contain fiber and bananas contain potassium.
- Try All-fruit-spreads - Instead of butter on toast, try all-fruit spreads, fruit butter, or even sliced bananas or strawberries.
- Bagel classics- Try whole-wheat bagel with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter.
- Breakfast on the go? So you don't have time to eat breakfast? Keep whole-grain mini bagels on-hand or muffins, nuts, and dried and fresh fruits that can be taken in the car.
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