Rise and Shine It’s Breakfast Time!
By: Jodie Shield, RD
Did you know that on any given day 20 to 30 percent of kids skip breakfast? This is unfortunate given that breakfast really is for champions in and out of the classroom. Kids who eat breakfast have so many advantages over kids who skip the morning meal. Breakfast eaters tend to be healthier, are less likely to be overweight, score higher on tests, behave better in the classroom, and are less likely to be absent from school.
Why are so many kids hopping out of bed and running on fumes instead of fuel? One of the most common excuses I hear from families: they simply don’t have time! Here are 5 time-saving tips guaranteed to help kids eat a healthy breakfast when everyone’s in a hurry.
- Give me five! Reset the alarm clock so that everyone gets up five minutes earlier. The extra time will give kids the few extra minutes they need to eat a quick breakfast.
- Get organized. Each night before school, make sure that everyone’s homework is completed and in their backpacks. Also, have kids decide what they want to wear and lay out their clothes before going to bed. Another time-saver is to pack lunches in the evening and keep them in the refrigerator to grab and go.
- Keep quick-to-fix foods on hand. Stock up on healthy, ready-to-eat breakfast foods like instant oatmeal, whole grain cereal, reduced-fat granola bars, whole wheat frozen waffles, whole wheat bread and bagels, bananas, fresh berries, tomato juice, fat-free yogurt, low-fat milk, hard-boiled eggs, and peanut butter.
- Tune out distractions. Every minute counts! Turn off the TV and ask tweens and teens to stop texting and put away their cell phones.
- All for one and one for all. Get up before your kids and make a large pot of oatmeal or a skillet of scrambled eggs that are ready to eat as soon as they enter the kitchen.
Hopefully some of these pointers will help your family break the breakfast skipping barriers. For more breakfast-eating tips check out my book Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens. So which time-saving breakfast tip are you going to try first?