Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fast Break for Breakfast...

My children go to a great school, and one of their focuses is on good nutrition.  For school lunch, they contract with an awesome catering company that focus on home-cooked, fresh, local, healthy food as much as possible.  They recently sent out this article and I thought it had some great breakfast ideas worth posting, so I'm passing it along.

"Whether or not children eat breakfast affects their learning, but so does what they eat. Children who eat a breakfast containing both complex carbohydrates and proteins in equivalent amounts of calories end to show better learning and performance than children who eat primarily a high protein or a high carbohydrate breakfast. Think grains, plus nuts, dairy or meat, plus fruits.

Breakfasts high in carbohydrates with little protein seem to sedate children rather than stimulate their brain to learn. Think sugared cereals, plus pop-tarts, plus juice.

High-protein foods perk up the brain by increasing levels of two “alertness” neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. A high-protein meal really is a “power breakfast” or a “power lunch.”

Like the structural steel of buildings and the metal meshwork in concrete, proteins provide the framework for every cell of the body. Just as workers at a construction site need a steady supply of building materials, tissues undergoing repair and those that are growing need a steady supply of protein to build and rebuild organs, muscles, antibodies, hormones, and enzymes - every kind of cell in the body.

Examples of balanced breakfasts include:

     1. Scrambled eggs, toast, orange juice
     2. Cheese melted on toast with a piece of fruit
     3. Peanut butter and banana slices on an english muffin, milk
     4. Whole-grain waffle, sausage link, orange slices
     5. Oatmeal with sliced almonds, raisins, cinnamon and milk
     6. multi grain toast with sun-butter spread and blueberries
     7. Granola cereal, plain yogurt, a sliced apple
     8. Veggie omelet, bran muffin, fruit with yogurt
     9. Whole-grain toast, bacon slice, fruit
     10. Whole-grain pancakes or waffles topped with berries and/or yogurt, milk
     11. Whole-wheat zucchini pancakes topped with fruit, milk
     12. French Toast topped with fruit, orange juice or milk
     13. Cream cheese on a whole-grain bagel, orange juice
     14. Cashews, whole grain bagel, fruit
15. Turkey and avocado slices rolled in a whole grain tortilla

Of course, it’s what you eat not what you say that impresses a child most. By treating yourself to a healthy, balanced breakfast, you model to your children that eating a healthy breakfast gives the whole family a smart nutritional start.

And if you aren’t a breakfast eater, how about a smoothie? All kinds of combinations of fruit, yogurt, nut butters, avocado, can quickly be made into a fast (and portable) breakfast.

Maybe your kids would enjoy making up their own breakfast smoothie recipes!? Send us your successes and flops and we’ll have fun sharing them here.

Here’s our recent family favorite, the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

     1 cup Vanilla yogurt
     3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
     1 banana
     1 cup peaches
     Cinnamon to taste

Here are a few links to other breakfast smoothie drinks:

4 recipes for High-protein smoothies

School-ade breakfast smoothie

Mango Smoothie

Most of all we hope that eating a high protein breakfast will give you, your kids and their teachers a successful and enjoyable morning."

By Amy Driggs,
On behalf of the School Wellness Committee
Posted by Picasa

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