As we continue to celebrate National Nutrition Month, I want to talk about my favorite meal… BREAKFAST!
If you are anything like me, getting my family ready and out the door in the morning can be a challenge! As soon as the alarm clock rings, we hit the ground running. In the midst of the busyness of starting a new day, it is sometimes easy to overlook one of the most important parts… BREAKFAST!!! Consuming a nutritious meal in the morning can set you up for success whether you are a kid facing a math test or an adult tasked with a busy work day.
Although we have all heard “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” too often we skip breakfast entirely or opt for items that are less than filling. A bagel and coffee may be convenient while running out the door, however, all too soon we will find our bodies running out of fuel before we make it to our mid-morning snack, much less lunch.
Ideally, our breakfasts would contain all of the food groups. I’ll cut you a little slack since we are trying to have breakfast AND get out the door! ;-) We will start with two must-have components:
- Protein: Unfortunately, this important nutrient is missing from our morning meal more often than not. Protein is what fills us up and leaves us satisfied through the morning. Perfect options include eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, yogurt (perhaps Greek), low-fat cheese (string cheese), different types of nut butter, or a handful of your favorite nuts.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates give our bodies the fuel and brain power we need to start the day and keep us moving. Carbs may frequent our breakfast menu, but choosing nutrient dense options is key! Ideal selections include whole grain toast, an English muffin, oatmeal, or even a corn tortilla.
At this point you might as well add a piece of your favorite fruit to the mix; a banana, a handful of blueberries, or an orange. (I told you, all food groups are ideal… You can do it!)
For those of you more concerned with time than delicious options, here are my tips for keeping your schedule and still eating a nutritious breakfast:
Be prepared. Whether it’s a Sunday night and you are preparing for the week, or you have a few minutes of spare time on a weeknight, prep as much of the meal as you can the day/night before. (Rinsing fresh fruit and placing in a bag, scrambling eggs and putting them in a to-go container, placing a serving of nuts into a bag, etc.)
Don’t over think it. Grabbing a yogurt, a handful of nuts or a banana on the way out the door is quick and can fuel your body adequately, putting you and your family on the right track.
Below is one of my favorite ideas for planning ahead and setting my family up for breakfast success - mini breakfast muffins. Cook these on the weekend and place them in the freezer. A few seconds in the microwave on a busy morning and you’re ready to go!
Egg & Veggie Muffins
Adapted from TheSeasonedMom.com
4 whole eggs + 4 additional egg whites
¼ cup diced onion
½ of a carrot, grated
½ of a red bell pepper, diced
½ of a small zucchini, grated
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ tsp salt
Grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
*Option: I added lean cubed ham and a touch of garlic powder for extra flavor.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Coat 8 muffin cups with liners and cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl, toss together all of the vegetables.
4. Spoon vegetable mixture into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about ? full.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Use a ?-cup measuring cup to scoop egg mixture into each of the muffin cups, filling each cup to the top.
6. Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with about ½ - 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake muffins for 30 minutes, or until puffy, golden, and cooked through.
Grab an egg and veggie muffin, a cup of milk and your favorite piece of fruit on your way out the door for a nutritious breakfast! And in case you didn’t notice, this simple breakfast has every food group… I told you, you could do it!
Our little guy, Denton, could not get enough - so it's not just adults who like them!
With a little bit of preparation, a balanced and nutritious breakfast is easy for your family to enjoy.
As a reminder, we have a super fun and easy contest running for kids all through March's National Nutrition Month. It is called, "Try It, You'll Like It! It's as easy as 1-2-3:
1. Have your child try any NEW fruit or vegetable that they have not tried before.
2. Take a photo or video of them trying the food, and upload it to Facebook. Tag the tag the Lemond Nutrition Facebook page and include hashtag #TryIt and #NNM
3. Fill out contact information in the Contest tab of our Facebook page.
Children <18 years of age, please. Contest Ends 3/31/15. The Lemond Nutrition team will be the group judges! Two winners will be contacted 4/1/15 (no April Fools!)
Good luck and enjoy your family breakfasts!