That breakfast is the most important meal of the day isn’t breaking news. It not only breaks the long fast since your last meal the previous night, but it gets you going for the start of your new day.
Yet, breakfast may be the most underappreciated meal of the day, especially if you are a teen and it is a school day. On a good morning when homework is tucked into the backpack, hair and clothes fall into place, and there’s time to spare, breakfast at the kitchen table gets half a chance. On other days, those few morning minutes are precious. On mornings like these, a breakfast that can be made in less than 5 minutes can save your day.
Need some inspiration? Read on for five simple meals that are perfect for even the most hectic of school day mornings.
1. Cold cereal
No question, this is the go-to choice for teens. It doesn’t take long to pour a bowl of cereal, add milk and then top with sliced bananas, nuts or dried fruit. Problem is, many breakfast cereals are brimming with sugar that will have you crashing by your second period. A better idea: Choose a cereal that contains no more than 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of sugar per serving. Some favorites include Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Puffs, Nabisco® Shredded Wheat, Kellogg’s® Cornflakes and Rice Krispies, and General Mills® Cheerios.
2. Hot cereal
Love, love oatmeal for breakfast. It’s a snap to make, nourishing and filling. Throw some regular or steel-cut oatmeal into a bowl, add water (enough to totally soak the oats, but not so much that the oats are swimming in it), and place the bowl in the microwave for about a minute. Add your usual toppings: fresh fruit, walnuts, raisins and a little brown sugar or honey. Add some milk.
3. Toast with a twist
Grab your favorite bread and place a couple of slices in the toaster. Once toasted, spread with peanut butter or another nut butter, then spread applesauce on top. Place in the microwave for about 30 seconds. To make this an even healthier choice, use 100% whole wheat bread (for more fiber) and unsweetened applesauce (for less refined sugar).
4. A perfect parfait
This is a feast for your eyes as well as your body. In a clear glass, add some plain or vanilla yogurt, then some granola and then some of your favorite fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, sliced strawberries or bananas. Repeat the layering process and then enjoy your colorful creation.
Scrambled eggs can be made in a pinch. Beat two eggs together with about ¼ cup milk in a microwaveable dish, and microwave for about 2 minutes. You can also add sliced mushrooms, peppers, broccoli or another veggie favorite, if you want. The eggs rise like a soufflé. Fluff with a fork and place back in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with some whole wheat toast and low-fat milk, and you are off to a great start.
On those super hectic school mornings, instead of skipping breakfast, reach for a breakfast bar. See 7 Tips to Choose a Healthier Breakfast Bar for ideas on choosing some good ones. Along with the bar, drink a glass of milk and grab a piece of whole fruit for the road!
Have a wonderful rest of your day!
Lorna Williams, MPH, RD
Co-author of Eating for A’s
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