It’s that time of year again when our kiddos go back to school. It’s also the time when we as parents get to think about how we can help them be successful in the classroom. One of those ways is to make sure our kids have a nourishing breakfast before they head off to school.
Studies show kids who eat breakfast concentrate better, solve problems more easily, and perform better on tests.
The best way to show kids that breakfast is important is modeling the behavior, so wake up a little earlier so you can spend 10-15 minutes eating breakfast with your child. It not only shows them that eating breakfast is important, but also gives you a chance to learn about how they’re feeling that morning, how well they slept, and what they have coming up that day.
Easy healthy breakfasts don’t have to take a lot of time, and depending on the breakfast, can be made ahead.
One option is fruit with oatmeal, yogurt, or cereal. Plain yogurt and cereal with less than 10 gm of sugar per serving are best. Even if they are gluten-free, breakfasts made from whole grains (rice, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, oatmeal) will provide sustained energy instead of sharp highs and lows.
Another option is breakfast burritos. For kids heading back to school, making time for breakfast can be a challenge, burritos are easy to take on the go and can be easily adapted to be vegetarian if that is what your child prefers. You can find pre-prepared ones in the grocery store, or you can also make your own ahead of time, combining tofu, potatoes, veggies like carrots, peas, corn, or poblano peppers, beans, eggs or other ingredients and freezing extras.
Smoothies can be an excellent choice if you don’t have a lot of time and need something quick. You can add a nut or seed butter for protein, with fresh or frozen fruit, and greens for added nutrients and fiber.
Other options can include overnight oats, chia pudding, or mini veggie frittatas made in muffin tins for just the right size and ease of portability.
Finally, as a last resort, protein bars and shakes can be an option if your child simply doesn’t have time in the morning for a sit-down meal. You should strive for these to be few and far between but sometimes they are unavoidable, so don’t stress when hectic mornings happen. Even when it comes to protein bars and shakes, you can still look for healthier options, like bars with less than 8 grams of sugar and shakes with less than 10 grams of sugar.
If you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and have a little fun, here is my recipe for homemade breakfast burritos.
These breakfast burritos are made with beans for protein, rice for slow-release energy from carbohydrates, and kale for added nutrients and antioxidants.
- 2 tortillas, wheat flour or gluten-free
- 1/4 cup tofu, hemp tofu, or scrambled eggs
- 1/4 cup rice (cooked) or potatoes (diced & cooked)
- ¼ cup black or pinto beans, pureed
- 2 Tbsp cheese, dairy or non-dairy (optional)
- optional ingredients include diced carrots, peas, corn, or sautéed chilis (poblanos or jalapeños).
1. Cook tofu or scramble eggs.
2. Combine with cooked rice or potatoes.
3. Warm and puree beans.
4. Spread pureed beans inside tortilla, fill with half tofu/egg and rice or potato mixture.
5. Sprinkle with cheese, if using.
6. Begin rolling the tortilla, fold in the sides, continue folding until closed.
7. Enjoy both or freeze one for later.