Gluten Free Breakfasts–April 2010

As the weather gets warmer and Spring is in the air, it’s a great time to think of ways to make your diet healthier. And 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. There are great options from both the regular grocery store and specialty products.

Some mainstream breakfast options are naturally gluten free, like Rice Chex, Cream of Rice, 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 always, do check labels).

As far as cold cereals go, nutritionally, Crunchy Flax (formerly called Nutty flax) and Mesa Sunrise are among the best options because all are great sources of whole grains and fiber.  The Chex cereals aren’t the healthiest, but they are very easy and widely available, which really does come in handy, especially on travel. EnviroKidz has some for children of all ages, like Gorilla Munch and Koala Kids, and these are in most local supermarkets. And, of course, there are more and more gluten free versions of the typical standards. And, of course, increasingly stores sell GF bagels, muffins, scones, or other sweet breakfast treats.

Especially for chilly mornings, hot cereals are a great way to start the day with fiber and whole grains. Most GF grains cook up nicely as hot cereals. My personal favorite is milled, and kasha (buckwheat), quinoa, 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!

Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with Celiac Disease, food allergies, picky eaters, children on the Autistic spectrum, chronic illness, 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 and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742