This post was written to provide additional information as part of a survey. You can complete the survey about back-to-school food to support kids with their learning here.
The Cereal Commercial Breakfast – Cereal, milk, toast and juice
The cereal, toast and juice are all source of carbohydrates, so this breakfast option is high in carbohydrates especially if the cereal, bread and juice contain added sugar. Store bought cereal may contain grains that have been processed and had the fibre removed. This meal contains some protein from the milk.
Suggestions to increase fibre, protein and health fats:
- Ensure the cereal and bread are both whole grain so you get more fibre. Choose lower sugar options.
- Choose either cereal or toast to reduce the overall reliance on carbohydrates
- Consider adding protein and healthy fats with nut milk in the cereal, nut or seed butter on the toast or a boiled egg on the side.
- Replace highly processed cereal with homemade granola or oatmeal. Buckwheat, quinoa, chia or hemp cereal for a grain-free alternative.
- Have a piece of whole fruit instead of juice to get more fibre.
- Replace the milk with full fat greek yogourt for more protein and fat.
The On the go breakfast – Microwave oatmeal and a toaster pastry
This breakfast is highly processed. It will likely be high in sugar, fat and sodium. While it is important to eat breakfast, there may be other quick alternatives that provide more fibre, healthy fats, and protein.
Suggestions to reduce sugar and add fibre, healthy fat and protein:
- Consider making your own oatmeal. Overnight oatmeal or slow cooker oatmeal are both quick to prepare ahead of time and ready for breakfast on the go.
- Add nuts or seeds to the oatmeal for more fibre, protein and healthy fat.
- Choose unsweetened oatmeal and add fruit for sweetness.
- Choose lower sodium options.
- Look for products without artificial flavours or colours.
- Make muffins ahead of time for a quick breakfast. Consider a high protein, high fibre muffin made with almond flour or quinoa flour.
- Make your own whole grain toaster pastries.
- Add coconut milk or nut milk to the oatmeal for protein and fat.
Traditional Eggs and Bacon – Eggs, bacon, toast
Bacon and eggs always reminds of breakfast. There are opportunities for variety in the breakfast but choosing different types of breakfast meat and by preparing the eggs differently. This breakfast includes fat, protein and carbohydrates to keep the body going but it could use more fibre. The bacon could be high in sodium and may be highly processed.
Suggestions to add fibre:
- Add vegetables to the meal. Consider an omelette with bell peppers and mushrooms, a side of leftover roasted vegetables or some cooked greens.
- Look for bacon that is lower in sodium and additives.
- Choose whole grain toast or, for a paleo breakfast, choose a grain-free seed bread.
- For a vegetarian option, prepare a tofu scramble with avocado instead of bacon and eggs.
The Caffeine and Sugar Fix – Coffee and a muffin
For some people, eating breakfast is a challenge. A cup of coffee and a pastry from the drive-thru coffee shop might be their breakfast choice. The caffeine can provide a burst of energy and a muffin or donut can add sugar help to get you going, but over time this effects will wear off leaving you craving more. This breakfast may be high in trans fats and sugar, and low in fibre, protein and healthy fats.
Suggestion to add fibre, protein and health fats:
- Make your own muffins with whole grains, nuts and seeds for fibre. Choose a recipe with fruit for sweetness.
- Try bullet proof coffee with added fat and protein. Include chia seeds for fibre.
- Substitute the pastry for a slice of whole grain toast or seed bread. Top it with seed or nut butter for extra protein and fat.
- Try matcha tea as an alternative to coffee for added antioxidants.
Blender breakfast – Smoothie with banana, yogourt and frozen fruit
Smoothies seem to really popular right now – and they can provide a quick nutritious meal on the go. This smoothie would likely be high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat.
Suggestions to include protein and healthy fats:
- Add protein powder, nuts or seeds to increase the protein level.
- Use full fat, unsweetened yogourt for healthy fats and protein, with less sugar
- Choose berries rather than tropical fruits for a lower glycemic index.
- Add chia seeds for fibre and omega 3s.
- Add leafy greens or a greens powder for extra vitamins and minerals.
- Replace the yogourt with coconut milk or avocado for more healthy fats and a non-dairy option.
- Add coconut milk or nut milk for liquid.
A Stack with Syrup – Pancakes and maple syrup
Pancakes and waffles were weekend breakfast treats growing up. I don’t make them often for my family, but we enjoy them as an occasional breakfast for dinner meal. Pancakes with syrup tend to be high in carbohydrates, which can leave you feeling tired after eating. Adding protein, fibre and healthy fats can help to make this meal keep you energized longer.
- Choose a higher protein and higher fibre recipe. Using whole grains, oatmeal or nut flour can help. You can also include protein powder in the batter.
- Replace some of the maple syrup with fruit salad or a berry sauce for less sugar.
- Add fruit to the batter for sweetness with less sugar.
- Add whipped coconut milk or full fat greek yogourt for fat and protein.
- Add an egg or breakfast meat on the side for protein
- Sprinkle the pancakes with cinnamon for flavour, instead of syrup.
What are your favourite breakfasts? How do you ensure they keep you and your family energized and ready for the day?