QUINCY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With back to school season in full swing, make sure you and your kids start the day in the right way with a quick and nutrient-rich breakfast. It’s true that kids who eat breakfast get more fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C, zinc and iron into their diets compared to breakfast skippers. Kids who fuel up in the morning also tend to focus and concentrate better in the classroom.
Check out these easy and healthy tips from Stop & Shop to start the school day off right:
• Hectic mornings can make it difficult for kids (and parents) to find time for breakfast. Waking up just a few minutes earlier provides time to squeeze in a quick morning meal.
• Aim to combine a whole grain (oats, whole grain cereal, whole wheat toast) and a protein rich food (eggs, nuts, nut butters) at breakfast, plus a fruit or vegetable.
• Fruit and yogurt is a tried and true quick breakfast. Choose Greek yogurt for added protein. And choose yogurts with little added sugar or plain varieties – you’ll be adding natural sweetness with the fruit so you actually don’t need additional sweetness. Add some nuts for the staying power of heart-smart fats and protein.
• Prepare breakfast the night before so you can grab and go in the morning. Try a whole grain tortilla with almond butter and banana rolled up, homemade trail mix with whole grain cereal plus nut/seeds and dried fruit or a layered parfait with yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal. Or make a slow-cooker full of oatmeal or mini egg quiches at the beginning of the week so the family can enjoy Monday through Friday.
• Eggs are rich in satiating protein and vitamins and minerals. They also contain only 70 calories per egg. To keep cholesterol and calories at bay, use one egg and two egg whites as a serving.
- Egg mugs are a quick and easy way to prepare eggs in the morning. Spray a mug with non-stick spray and place in one egg and two egg whites and microwave for one minute or until set. Add your favorite cheese, vegetables and/or lean low sodium breakfast meat.
- Breakfast sandwiches are hot! Make an egg in the microwave (above) add a slice of cheese and place on a whole wheat English muffin or wrap. Top with salsa.
- Hard boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week. Cool, peel and place into an airtight container in the refrigerator. Grab an egg or two for a quick breakfast with fruit in the morning or make egg salad with whole grain toast.
• Setting the breakfast table the night before can make the morning run a little smoother. Put out a couple boxes of whole-grain cereal and bananas so all kids have to do in the morning is pick one, pour into a bowl and add milk and sliced bananas.
• Smoothies are a great option to start your day with a nutrient rich boost. Add skim or soy milk, low or non-fat Greek yogurt and your favorite fruit. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add baby leafy greens such as baby spinach and baby kale, which have a mild flavor. Make ahead the night before and refrigerate in a to-go thermos for breakfast on the go.
• Experiment with different nut or seed butters and add to smoothies, whole grain pancakes, whole grain waffles or oatmeal. Nut and seed butters are rich in heart smart fats and protein, which help satisfy hunger and keep you full until your next meal.
• Read the nutrition labels carefully before you toss breakfast bars and pastries into your shopping cart. Look for bars with “whole grains” as the first ingredients and make sure sugar is not one of the first few ingredients in the bar. Also, bars with the combination of fiber and protein are your best bets as those will help keep you full longer.
• Get kids involved with some “make and take” portable quickies the night before. Have kids add their favorite fruits to zip-top bags, make and freeze smoothies and or make their own mini peanut butter and banana sandwiches using half a slice of whole grain bread.
• Breakfast doesn’t have to be traditional. Start the day with a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, light cheese and whole grain crackers or peanut butter and jelly on a whole grain wrap. Dinner “do-overs” are also an option. Try mac and cheese with ham cubes, cold veggie pizza, or a piece of cold chicken and a small whole grain dinner roll. Add fruit and you have a well-rounded “breakfast.”
No matter what healthy option you choose, don’t forget how important it is to set a good example. Kids tend to mimic their parents’ actions to make it a habit to sit down and eat breakfast every morning. For more healthy tips visit www.stopandshop.com/healthyideas.
About Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC employs approximately 59,000 associates and operates 395 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. The company helps support local communities fight hunger, combat childhood cancer and promote general health and wellness – with emphasis on children’s educational and support programs. In its commitment to be a sustainable company, Stop & Shop is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA’s Smart Way program and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com or www.facebook.com/stopandshop.