Monday, March 2, 2009

Grab and Go Breakfast Treats

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet we tend to spend very little time and attention on it. Oh yes, there are tons of excuses, the rationale for ignoring breakfast. You are running late, so you simply skip it – WRONG! Perhaps your teen started a diet and thinks that skipping breakfast will make her thin – WRONG! Do you give into sleepy kids and offer a sugary snack bar to eat on the drive to school or do you justify a stop for Fast Food along the way – WRONG AGAIN!

Breakfast gets your metabolism started each morning. If your body is one big fuel burning engine, then food is the fuel we need to run that engine. Passing on breakfast not only makes you and yours cranky, but in most cases leads to really bad decisions for lunch. It’s easy to justify a drive-thru super burger meal at noon if you’ve skipped breakfast at 7:00 am.

A recipe for your family’s wellness includes a smart breakfast, and by that I don’t mean a single convenience item, but a meal – something with complex carbohydrates and plenty of protein. Eating an egg or two in the morning will satisfy you until lunch time; not so for sugary breakfast cereal or pre-packaged muffins (doused with a good amount of preservatives). These items may find your child looking at the clock on the class room wall at ten, counting the minutes until lunch hour. Why does this happen? Because foods like processed cereal and muffins contain hidden sugars, producing a spike of energy that plummets as quickly as it appears. The protein and fat found in foods like eggs and milk provide a longer, slower energy stream, thereby sustaining you and satisfying your hunger until lunch-time, which allows you to make a good (not starving) choice for your next meal.

For a super breakfast pairing, include veggies and fruit in your morning meal; think of it as part of your goal to increase the amount of antioxidant-rich foods that your family eats daily. Add low-fat cheese as a special, protein dense ingredient to ramp up your ordinary breakfast. When time permits, on leisurely weekends and holidays, gather the gang and create brunch meals that are designed to share with others. These relaxed meals will help to instill the need for a fun breakfast on even those most hectic weekdays.

Here are a couple of really fast breakfast ideas:
Try a schmear of natural peanut butter on whole grain toasted bread, topped with fresh fruit, honey or a bit of jam.
Place a chilled hard boiled egg alongside strawberries, dipped in coarsely ground pepper. (I’m not kidding. Dipping the strawberries in the pepper is really good….!)
Snack on a hunk of hard cheese (cheddar, Parmesan) and a bunch of red or green grapes.
Cut a crisp apple into wedges and spread with macadamia nut butter or cashew butter. (You can make any nut butter by placing the nuts into your food processor. Pulse until the nuts become emulsified. You don’t need to add oil - nuts are full of good oils).
Dish out cottage cheese or yogurt and top with blueberries, peaches and/or chopped strawberries. You can add a bit of granola for a crunchy topping.
Whip up a fruit smoothie prepared from fresh (or frozen) fruit, organic yogurt and crushed ice.
Tuna salad (for breakfast?) Yep. Rather than skip breakfast completely, raid your fridge for last night’s leftovers and …. Viola! It’s a grab and go starter that won’t find you stuffing a fast food alternative into your mouth as you dash to work.

Check out these recipes for quick breakfast meals; they will take you only minutes to prepare and help start your day with a healthy, delicious and totally tempting treat designed with you family’s optimal health in mind.
Deviled Eggs for Breakfast
Open Face Smoked Salmon Breakfast Sammie
Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Breakfast Sandwich
Blueberry Pie Muffins (Make these on the weekend and pass them out all week.)

1 comment:

Jen said...

They look delish - I'd be in danger of "grab n' going" with the whole batch!

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