Saturday, October 21, 2006

Make Breakfast a Top Priority for Your Tots

It is never too early in the life of your child to emphasis the importance of eating a nutritious breakfast each and every day. Breakfast after all is the most important meal of the day and this point can never be stressed often enough. We need to break the fast when we rise every day as our bodies have been fasting for a period of anywhere from eight to twelve hours while we slept and now need to be refueled for the busy day ahead. Thus the word, breakfast.

Mothers if you are inclined to skip breakfast or eat something that is not terribly healthy because you are in a hurry how do you expect your children to learn to eat right? Starting right now make the decision to make breakfast an essential part of how you begin each and every day and teach your children that it must be a top priority. It is always important that you eat within one hour of rising. As well your body is dehydrated when you rise so before you eat breakfast, gulp down a glass of water to help rehydrate yourself. If you do not have adequate time for a properly prepared sit down breakfast then get out the blend and mix up a delicious tasting and oh so nutritious fruit smoothie. Read on to learn more.

Why is Breakfast so Important?

Eating breakfast every single day aids in making your body feel full as well as promoting proper metabolic function and is a key part of managing proper weight. According to the American Dietetic Association, starting your day by eating a healthy breakfast can actually help people lose weight or maintain their weight better than those who choose not to eat breakfast each day. As well the National Institute of Health recommends that eating breakfast on a regular basis makes it less likely that an individual will overeat later in the day. The majority of people who successfully drop pounds and keep them off eat breakfast every morning.

What is on the Menu?

It is important to think 1-2-3 energy when deciding what foods to put on the breakfast menu. In other words, think one serving of protein (such as peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, eggs or milk), two servings of fruit and three servings of grain. Fiber is also a must for breakfast, the more the better. Fiber helps keep the digestive system running smoothly. Buy high fiber cereals (such as All Bran) and breads and choose fresh fruit over fruit juice. Add wheat germ and flax seed to your foods whenever possible. Make sure to buy ground up flax seed as it is easier for the body to digest. Another big plus of high fiber cereals is that they contain little if any sugar.

Think Fruit Smoothies!

An option for those who do not have time for a hearty breakfast or who do not enjoy one very much is whipping up a fruit smoothie. Get out the blender and make yourself a healthy alternative to a sit down breakfast! A good one to try is to ad a half to one cup of frozen or fresh fruit (fruit of your choice) to a blender with three quarters of yogurt and fruit juice until you reach the desired consistency. Then blend and you are all set. Another fruit smoothie to try is to blend milk with yogurt, frozen fruit (a banana is essential) and a scoop of protein powder to balance it out. Blend and you are out the door in a snap, no fuss, no muss!

Two of my favorite breakfast drinks include my own version of the fruit smoothie and a protein drink for two. The recipes for both are below.

Fruit Smoothie

1 cup orange juice
1 fresh or frozen banana
1-2 cups of any fruit desired (suggestions are 1 peach, 1 cored apple and 1 cup of strawberries)
1 egg (optional)
2 tbsp. wheat germ
2 tbsp. powdered protein

Place juice, banana and fruit of choice in a blender. Liquefy. Makes one large or two small drinks.

Protein Drink for Two

1 large banana
1 raw egg
2 cups low fat or skim milk
2 tbsp. powdered protein
2 tbsp. wheat germ
1 tbsp. granular lecithin

Toss all ingredients in a blender and let it whip for 30 seconds. This is an excellent high-protein breakfast and will give you long-lasting energy for hours.

Please Note- Powdered protein is available at most grocery stores and health food stores.

Whether you are dieting or not, breakfast should never be skipped. When you are busy throughout the day your body requires a great deal of calories and nutrients. Going without breakfast serves to slow down the rate at which the human body burns calories. This has an adverse effect as it very often leads to overeating at night, a time of day when the demands of energy are not at a high point and calories are more likely to be stored as body fat.

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