Healthy Habits: Starting the Day Right with Breakfast

By Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers

Eating a good breakfast can do a lot more for your children than you may realize. There are many studies that conclude that eating breakfast has many health benefits, including reduced risk of obesity, better school performance -- both learning and behavior -- reduced tooth decay, and children who eat breakfast are more likely to get a full day’s supply of calcium.

Many of us often meet the challenge of getting everyone out the door on time. When this happens, breakfast runs the risk of being short changed or overlooked. Breakfast is just too important to your children’s success at school to let this happen.

Here are some tips for breakfast success:
Sit down and eat breakfast as a family
Turn TV off and avoid other distractions
Develop the habit of getting your children ready for school before bedtime, so there is more time in the morning for breakfast
Prepare breakfast foods in advance, and freeze them in single servings
Have "on the go" breakfast items, such as small boxes of whole grain cereals, fresh fruits, yogurt in the tube, granola bars, etc. on hand. Just in case someone sleeps through the alarm clock.

A healthy breakfast should consist of:
Protein
Whole grains
Fruit or vegetable
Calcium

Here are some examples of healthy breakfasts:
#1: Breakfast burrito: scrambled eggs, black beans and salsa wrapped in a flour tortilla, and a glass of orange juice
#2: Toasted English muffin, a hard boiled egg, a glass of milk and a bowl of strawberries
#3: Bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk and a banana
#4: Buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup, a bowl of melon and a glass of milk
#5: Bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and milk and glass of orange juice
#6: Yogurt, a slice of whole wheat toast and a handful of raisins
#7: Piece of spinach quiche, a slice of whole wheat toast and a handful of blueberries
Spinach Quiche
Quiche is quick to make, and makes a healthy breakfast for children and adults. Make it ahead of time, cut it into single serving pieces, wrap the individual pieces in foil or plastic wrap and freeze them. In the morning just defrost and reheat in the microwave. Simple and very tasty.

Ingredients:

¾ cup of shredded Swiss cheese
¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup of finely chopped onion1
(10oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
4 eggs
1 cup of half & half or milk
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 prepared 9-inch pie crust
Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle spinach and onion in prepared pie crust. Toss cheese with flour and sprinkle in the pie crust. In a large bowl gently whisk together eggs, half & half (or milk), salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over all of the other ingredients in the pie crust. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let stand 10 to 12 minutes before serving. If you are cutting it into single servings and freezing it, let the quiche cool completely.

About the authors: Cheryl Tallman and Joan Ahlers are sisters, the mothers of five children, and founders of Fresh Baby (www.FreshBaby.com). Raised by parents who love fresh foods and entertaining, their mom, a gourmet cook, ensured that they were well-equipped with extraordinary skills in the kitchen. Both with long track records of business success, they decided to combine their skills in the kitchen with their knowledge of healthy foods and children to create Fresh Baby. Cheryl and Joan put a modern twist on the conventional wisdom that when you make it yourself, you know it’s better. Their goal at Fresh Baby is to make the task of raising a healthy eater a little bit easier for all parents. Fresh Baby’s breastfeeding accessories and baby food making supplies provide parents with practical knowledge and innovative tools to support them in introducing their children to great tasting, all-natural foods – easily and conveniently. Visit them online at www.FreshBaby.com and subscribe to their Fresh Ideas newsletter to get monthly ideas, tips and activities for developing your family's healthy eating habits!

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