The Best Breakfast Picks For Your Family

Written by: Jasmine Jafferrali

Whether you are training for the Strollers in the Front 5K Walk/Run or a standard marathon day of chasing kids, fueling in the beginning of the day is going to help keep your energy levels sustained so your kids don’t out run you.  By front loading your nutrients early, you’ll be less tempted to eat simple, refined carbohydrates during the mid-afternoon crash.  Eating breakfast not only helps with weight loss, it offers you an opportunity to get in many of your major nutrients and vitamins and if you skip breakfast you are increasing your risk of diseases that can be preventable in the first place.   As a busy mom of two, I have found ways to keep the kids happy in the morning and fun ways to make breakfasts creative, refined sugar free, and healthy.

#1. Every Sunday or Monday night, in one hour I can whip up a batch of breakfast muffins that will last almost the whole week.  Chocolate Zucchini, Morning Glory’s, and recently pumpkin spice are ones that seem to be a hit.  It makes for a great morning snack for my daughter at school.  If you have a favorite banana bread recipe, put them in muffin tins instead so it is easy to pack and travel with kids. 

#2. Shred up zucchini and sweet potatoes with eggs (when the kids are in the mood for them), nutritional yeast (to replace the cheese) and some spices such as paprika, basil or oregano to change things up for adding variety and keeping their palates fresh.

#3. Instead of oatmeal or rice cereal, try quinoa flakes.  For guaranteed breakfast satisfaction, pair lean protein with a serving of fiber-rich carbohydrates and quinoa flakes is an excellent way to get protein and fiber in the morning.  Protein and fiber helps to stabilize blood sugars so kids (and moms) don’t go crashing (aka temper tantrums) in the mid-morning.  Try this Hot Cocoa Quinoa Cereal.

#4. Make our own waffles with my new waffle stove top pan from Williams Sonoma.  It takes just as long as pancakes and I’ll make enough for the next day to pop into the toaster.  We recently made waffle sandwiches for lunches at school. 

#5. Bake your bacon (nitrate free is best).  Yep, 20-25 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees allows me time to get ready, make lunches, get the kids ready, you get the picture.  Spread some avocado on toast, add bacon and I have an excellent breakfast sandwich to go

#6. If you are in a rush, try these locally made bars:  Simple Squares for you and Sunbutter Bars by Enjoy Life Foods for the kids, grab a piece of fruit and you are off to a good start!

#7. Smoothies is always a fun way to get in some fruits and veggies and it takes 5-minutes to throw it all into a blender.  In fact I think when my daughter was 2-3 years old, she lived on smoothies.  Here is a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie created just for you and when taste tested on my daughter’s kindergarten class, they were a hit!  This smoothie is also an excellent pre-race meal for the Strollers in the Front 5K.

  • 4 oz of Square One Organics Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup of mango chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon of flax oil or flax seeds (we also used 6 walnuts in a previous recipe, but since this is a nut free school, flax seeds replace that nutty flavor without the tree nuts)
  • one 8 oz vanilla flavored Greek Yogurt (though we decided we liked the coconut milk yogurt better, it is sweeter too!)
  • 1 tsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8  tsp or dash nutmeg

No matter what, don’t succumb to breakfast cereals, they often contain just as much sugar as a donut, scone and are full of junkie ingredients that don’t fuel the brain for school.   A nutritious breakfast provides 1/4 of a child's daily nutrient needs and helps them to focus, concentrate, do better on tests and solve problems.  To read more tips on healthy breakfasts, read:  Consumer Groups Slams Breakfast Cereals.

Good luck and have fun on race day and every other morning!  

Healthy Regards, Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT. Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant Specializing in Gluten Free Living and Women's Health

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM