If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” In simple terms, it makes sense to eat breakfast since your body has rested for eight hours and it needs the first meal of the day to refuel. It’s even more important to refuel those younger bodies getting ready to learn all day long. But, what is really the best meal to kick-off your child’s school day? Do some meals fare better than others?
Kids Health, an online source of information, offers many guidelines for your child’s health, including what foods are best for our children and their growing bodies. A relatively new program called “Go, Slow, and Whoa!” is a guide for kids wanting to eat right for breakfast as well as every other meal of the day (and snack time, too). This program is associated with the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institute of Health. “Go, Slow, and Whoa!” is a way for all of us to think about food consumption.
The healthiest foods are considered the “Go” foods. Raw veggies, an apple, some grapes and milk or dairy are easy and quick foods to consume and fall in the “Go” category. “Slow” foods are things like hamburgers and pancakes that can be eaten, just not every single day. “Whoa!” foods are the items that may cause weight problems if eaten too often. French fries and ice cream are on the “Whoa!” list. A complete list can be found on their website.
Did you know kids (and adults) who skip breakfast end up eating more calories throughout the day? It’s true. Skipping breakfast is not the best way to lose weight. Some kids may skip breakfast because they end up sleeping in, but there are some easy and quick ways to start your day off right with food that doesn’t take time to prepare. Yogurt, fresh fruit and whole grain muffins are a great way to start the day. Hard boiled eggs are also an easy, on-the-go way to fuel your body first thing in the morning.
Studies show that kids who don’t eat breakfast are less prepared for learning at school, get less iron in their diets and can end up having a higher BMI, which is a body mass index and indicator of being overweight. Want to fend off added calories, weight gain and a negative learning curve? Eat breakfast! Eating a wholesome breakfast may take a little planning the night before, so we’ve included a tasty, easy recipe to start your day with (and it tastes good, too). Enjoy!
Spinach Banana Muffins
2 cups old fashioned oats
¼ cup ground flaxseed
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut sugar (or your favorite sugar)
½ cup almond milk
2 cups packed spinach leaves
¼ cup coconut oil
2 extra-ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease or line a muffin tin. Blend 2 cups of old-fashioned oats in a blender until it’s the texture of flour. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the oat flour and set aside. Add almond milk to the blender followed by 2 cups of spinach. Blend until smooth. Add bananas and coconut oil and continue blending. Add vanilla and eggs and blend until combined. Pour wet ingredients to dry mixture and stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Fill each muffin with ¼ cup of batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Muffins can be frozen until ready to heat up and eat!