I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been sucked into the vortex of watching the Olympics and re-emerged with back-to-school right around the corner. So it’s a perfect 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 a good source of fiber and protein, and not too much added sugar. There are great options from both the regular grocery store and more and more specialty products.
Some of the best choices:
- Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. Add in some berries and sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed or chia (Salba) to get in a little extra fiber.
- Get creative with eggs: scrambled eggs, omelets, huevos rancheros, or even hard-boiled for an inexpensive, high protein on-the-go breakfast. Add in veggies with the eggs for a more filling breakfast with more antioxidants and fiber. Three to four whole eggs weekly won’t affect cholesterol levels, and if that’s a concern, egg whites are always an option.
- Smoothies are also a great way to get in some additional fruit in your diet, and most kids enjoy them, too. Just make sure to get some protein, from Greek yogurt, protein powder or even tofu.
- Don’t forget old standbys, like cottage cheese or ricotta cheese and fruit, organic sausages, grits, etc.
- 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.
- KIND now has Whole Grain Clusters that are tasty and some protein and fiber, too.
Some mainstream breakfast options are naturally gluten-free, like most kinds of Chex (not wheat Chex, of course) Sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed to get in a little extra 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 there are new Gluten-free Rice Krispies (watch out, regular ones have gluten)and these are in most local supermarkets. Many stores sell gluten-free bagels, muffins, scones, waffles or other sweet breakfast treats. Or, for a freshly baked lower sugar and higher fiber option, Marion’s Smart Delights has muffins at the Happy Tart in Alexandria.
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!
Celiac Sprue Association has a newly updated for 2012, detailed section on back-to-school with tips for parents, teachers, students and more.
Celiac Family has great school links and resources.
American Celiac Disease Alliance has a fabulous section on back-to-school, with sample menus, doctor’s letters, info on 504 plans and more.
Sept 22 from 2-4pm
Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201
Speaker:Tony Lupo, Director of Technical Services for Neogen http://neogen.com/FoodSafety/
Enjoy a Day of Family Fun, Fitness and Education & support the
Celiac Disease Program, Diabetes Program and Obesity Institute at Children’s National Medical Center
Sunday September 9th, 2012 2:00 pm
Falls Church, VA 22041
Speakers, Zumba Classes, Treats & more!
Enjoy the rest of your summer and the rest of our time with much less traffic!
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with a specific health concern, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist & Certified Health Coach, please click here or call 571-271-8742.