By Cheryl Harris, MPH, RD
With back-to-school right around the corner, it’s time to think about breakfasts. We’ve all heard it—breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and gets us off to a good start. We need energy to study, work, and play! Many studies have shown improvements in concentration and learning for children who eat breakfast, and starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps adults, too. As a dietitian, I look for breakfasts that are high in fiber, have some protein, and contain limited sugar. There are great options from both the regular grocery store and specialty products.
Some mainstream breakfast options are naturally gluten-free, like most kinds of Chex (not wheat Chex, of course!), most kinds of yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, even plain grits! Sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed to get in a little extra fiber. Or, get creative with eggs: scrambled eggs, omelets, huevos rancheros, or even hard-boiled for an inexpensive, high protein on-the-go breakfast. Smoothies are also a great way to get in some additional fruit in your diet, and most kids enjoy them, too. Many kinds of breakfast meats, like sausage or bacon are also gluten-free.
As far as cold cereals go, nutritionally, Crunchy Flax, Whole O’s and Mesa Sunrise are among the best options because all are great sources of whole grains and fiber. And, of course, there are more and more gluten-free versions of the typical standards. EnviroKidz has some for children of all ages, like Gorilla Munch and Koala Kids, and these are in most local supermarkets. And, of course, more stores sell gluten-free bagels, muffins, scones, or other sweet breakfast treats.
Looking ahead to chilly mornings, hot cereals are a great way to start the day with fiber and whole grains. Most gluten-free grains cook up nicely as hot cereals. My personal favorite is millet, but kasha (buckwheat), quinoa flakes, amaranth, teff, etc. work well, too. It’s easy to make a big pot and have them all week long. Bob’s Red Mill has a few nice options, like Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal. Don’t forget about certified gluten-free oatmeal, which can be found at specialty stores or online.
You can also think beyond usual breakfast foods for a change of pace. Soups or any kind of leftovers work well, and you’re only limited by your imagination!
Back-to-School Resources from Around the Web
American Celiac Disease Alliance has a fabulous section on back-to-school, with sample menus, doctor’s letters, info on 504 plans and more.
Celiac About.com has a really nice compilation on back-to-school tips.
Celiac Sprue Association has a detailed section on back-to-school with tips for parents, teachers, students and more.
Living and Loving a Gluten-Free Diet
Saturday, Oct 16th, 2010
• Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and the importance of proper testing
• All you ever wanted to know about label reading
• Foods to avoid, cross contamination and hidden gluten
• Sorting out the facts from common myths
This is great for people who are familiar with some of the basics but still have some questions. It’s also a great opportunity to educate family and friends so they can support you better!
For more information, see http://www.harriswholehealth.com/services
Next Meeting Date: Saturday, September 11, 2010, 2:00–4:00 pm
Meeting Topic: Educating for Life.
Speaker: John Libonati, Glutenfreeworks.com
Vendor: Everybody Eats ( www.everybodyeats-inc.com )
Location: Bethesda Central Library
7400 Arlington Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814
240-777-0970, (TTY: 301-657-0840)
Meeting room is to the left just after you enter the library doors, right before the parking kiosk.
Parking is available at the library.
Remember to enter your parking space number in the machine in the entryway, to avoid getting a ticket!
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Cheryl works with people to feel and look their best with a range of specialties, including Celiac Disease, food allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, vegetarian and vegan diets, preventing diseases and “whole foods” eating. Let’s get you on your way to achieving your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here to email or call 571-271-8742.