Mom was right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! But the wrong breakfast can do more harm than good…
Breakfast choices like cereal, frozen waffles, and muffins are convenient. But they also guarantee a mid-morning blood sugar crash that will leave you and your family restless and cranky.
Forget being at your best for that 10 AM meeting. And by lunchtime, your kids will have a hard time staying awake, much less learning algebra!
Time for some healthier choices for breakfast. You and your family need a big boost of protein, fiber, and healthy fats every morning to stay full and focused.
Here are five quick and easy breakfast options to replace empty carbs and sugar with great nutrition…
1. Chia seed pudding
Chia seeds come by their superfood status honestly! Not only do they have plenty of filling fiber, they also pack in lots of energizing protein and brain-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seed pudding doubles as a healthy breakfast or a naturally sweet dessert option, and it’s so simple to make that older kids can make it themselves. (Don’t miss the yummy Chocolate Berry Chia Pudding recipe.)
2. Breakfast wraps
Sometimes your hectic morning schedule calls for a meal on the go. Breakfast wraps made with brown rice tortillas or coconut Paleo wraps are a quick, nutritious option without energy-crashing sugar and gluten.
For savory wraps, try pairing scrambled eggs and guacamole (if no egg intolerance) or make a classic BLT with nitrite-free bacon. Want a sweeter wrap? Layer thinly sliced apples with unsweetened coconut yogurt and walnuts, or go with fresh berries and almond butter. Easy to grab-and-go, and so yummy that leftovers won’t be a problem!
3. Protein shakes
Protein shakes are the ultimate in breakfast convenience! They have the valuable nutrients you and your family need, and the flavor combinations are endless. Use a high-quality, dairy- and soy-free protein powder for adults and older kids. For toddlers, freshly ground flaxseed or chia seeds provide plenty of protein.
Protein shakes are also the perfect chance to sneak in leafy greens, plus tasty fiber from berries, unsweetened shredded coconut, or cacao nibs. Just be sure to leave out dairy (a frequent source of food intolerances) and fruit juice (as much sugar as cola) and use almond or coconut milk instead. Don't forget to check out the guide at the end of this blog for 48 delicious free shake and smoothie recipes…
4. Dinner for breakfast
Eating breakfast for dinner is always a hit, but kids get just as big a kick out of doing the reverse. If your kids are tired of traditional breakfast foods, try more savory dishes usually reserved for the evening meal.
Americans are actually in the international minority when it comes to associating sweet foods with breakfast. Think globally and try your family’s healthy dinner favorites in the morning. A hot bowl of quinoa pasta with no-sugar-added marinara is filling and nutritious. The same goes for sloppy joes over brown rice or gluten-free chicken tenders with a side of sweet potato fries.
5. Breakfast bars
Granola and cereal bars have the right idea, but all the wrong ingredients. The sugar and empty carbs in most brands make them a closer relative to candy than a nutritious breakfast.
However, a meal replacement bar with more complete nutrition makes a convenient option that still offers the energy and focus you need. Look for one with at least 8-10 grams of protein and 5-7 grams of fiber, plus healthy fats from coconut or nuts. Limit sugar to 5 grams or less.
The key to fighting breakfast boredom is being willing to think outside the cereal box! Keep it simple and fun, and stay open. Fill up your family with wholesome, delicious foods that keep their blood sugar steady, and you’ll see positive results this school year.