The December holidays were filled with fun foods and delicious indulgences. With a new year, it’s now time to reconnect with healthful routines, leave behind the habit of nibbling on so many sugary treats and begin to look at ways to incorporate healthier eating patterns back into the daily diet. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that the New Year isn’t just about making resolutions for yourself; join me in pledging to keep your entire family eating in a healthful and wholesome fashion in 2018. A great way to start, both the year AND the day is with breakfast—frequently referred to as “the most important meal of the day!” Like any meal, breakfast provides many opportunities to serve dishes from the various food groups and to eat in a nutritionally balanced fashion. And, the more balanced the foods eaten, the more balanced the body, mind, and soul!
Here are a few simple breakfast ideas to help your family in the New Year:
• Serving oatmeal is a great way to warm up in chilly winter weather, while also ensuring a daily dose of fiber and antioxidants. This cholesterol-lowering whole grain goes great with freeze dried fruit for a little added sweetness and flavor.
• Scrambled eggs, omelettes, or frittatas provide opportunities to toss a vegetable into the meal. Offer your child choices within acceptable boundaries. For example, ask if she/he prefers spinach or broccoli in the eggs. Giving a choice will impart a feeling of empowerment and a natural feeling of being vested in the meal – making the likelihood of eating the meal much higher!
• Whether it’s pancakes, toast or a morning bagel, swap out the white-flour baked goods for ones that are whole wheat-based.
• Get your family excited about fruit by making it the nutrient-dense food group the “dessert of breakfast!” Whether it’s fresh or freeze-dried, the nutrients are a super-valuable part of the daily diet and a tasty way to get important vitamins.
• When serving pancakes or waffles, replace typical breakfast sugars, like syrup, with peanut butter, fruit preserves or yogurt.
• Instead of reaching for a sugary cereal, grab an unsweetened whole-grain cereal and add freeze-dried fruit for added sweetness.
• If your family enjoys a glass of fruit juice in the morning, make sure to serve versions that are 100% juice!
• Don’t forget the glass of milk. Whether it’s nut, soy or dairy milk, it’s a great way to give your child calcium and protein.