Better Breakfasts for Better Kids

Guest Blog Posting by Kristin Beraitis, CSE dietetic intern, 2012

Eating a well-balanced meal after waking up from a good night’s sleep can make a major difference in health and wellness of children and teens. When children skip breakfast, their brains and bodies suffer all day long and can result in behavior problems and decreased school performance. Make sure your kids are able to get the most out of their day by sending them off with a full tummy.

Breakfast meals should include protein, whole grains, fruits or vegetables, and dairy. Protein helps keep children full and focused until the lunch bell rings. Good sources of breakfast protein include eggs, nut butters, a slice of deli meat or cheese, or a container of low-fat yogurt. Whole grains, like whole wheat English muffins or bread will keep kids energized throughout the day and prevent them from falling asleep at their desk! Whole grains have more fiber and nutrients compared to white bread, and digest more slowly for longer lasting energy. Include whole fruits or veggies as a part of this meal instead of choosing juices. Whole fruits provide more fiber and nutrients and can help kids feel full longer. Blend some frozen fruit with low-fat yogurt for a healthy breakfast smoothie that the kids will love.

Can’t find the time to prepare a full meal during the early morning rush? Get organized the night before by preparing anything ahead of time. Keep it simple, offer a bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk and top with banana slices. Pack your breakfast to go, throw cereal in a zip lock bag for easy accessibility.

Apple Pie Oatmeal
Mix one packet of microwave oatmeal with low-fat milk. Mix in ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce and top with cinnamon or apple pie spice.

Breakfast To-Go Pop
Peel a banana and put popsicle stick half way through one end. Dip it in low-fat vanilla yogurt, then roll in crushed whole grain cereal. Freeze and enjoy!

Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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