This post is part of a series that focuses on children's and women's health, as part of a sponsored partnership with Aurora Health Care. Since January, I've been making small and gradual changes towards a more healthy lifestyle. And my kids have come along for the ride.
They work out with me in the basement (i.e. dance around me while I trip over them). They eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And most importantly, they have a healthy role model in their daily life.
However, I can't seem to get the sugar out of their diets.
Sugar, sugar, sugar.
Everywhere I turn there's sugar. In their cereals, in tomato sauces, in yogurt tubes. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
So I've made it my mission this week to start making small changes to decrease our sugar intake. I'm taking it one meal at a time, starting with breakfast.
It's not an old-fashioned mantra. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially for kids. Kids need long-lasting energy to learn and behave well in school.
I used this article from Aurora Health Care as my guide for a nutritious meal.
My game plan is to provide a breakfast that includes:
And a breakfast that does not include:
-lots of salt
I've also been waking up early enough that we don't need to rush through breakfast. (Rushing through eating can cause kids to miss important cues from their body about when they're full, how the food is making them feel, etc.)
So here goes! Here are my easy and quick go-to breakfasts.
And I'm not talking "easy-but-actually-complicated-and-takes -a-long-time." I'm talking "easy-as-in-takes-five-minutes."
Breakfast #1: Low-sugar Yogurt Parfait
-1 cup plain, unsweetened greek yogurt
-1/2 cup homemade granola (toasted oats, almonds, flax & honey mixed with chopped dried fruit. You can find lots of recipes online.)
-Handful of blueberries
-1 tablespoon of honey
This breakfast is highly customizable. Your kids don't like almonds? No problem. Take 'em out or use another nut. Do they prefer strawberries? Great!
Breakfast #2: Low Sugar Waffle Delight
-1-2 whole grain waffles
-natural peanut butter with no added sugar
-drizzle of honey
The peanut butter and honey combination just can't be beat. It definitely does not taste healthy! But it is.
Breakfast #3: Low Sugar Cereal topped with berries
-1 cup low sugar cereal
-1 cup milk
-Handful of strawberries
Cereals with less than five grams of sugar per serving include Puffins, Kix & Cheerios.
Breakfast #4: Low sugar Egg Muffin
-1-2 scrambled eggs
-whole grain English Muffin
-small handful of your favorite cheese
By choosing whole grains and limiting the portion of cheese in this breakfast, this meal makes the cut. The only sugar comes from the english muffin, and it's not much.
Breakfast #5: Whole grain banana pancakes
-Whole grain pancake mix
-thinly sliced bananas (or fresh berries)
-drizzle of real maple syrup
Is there anything better? Just go easy on the syrup so your kids don't get a sugar high, which is inevitably followed by a crash.
Breakfast #6: Overnight oats
-1 jar with lid
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-1 cup milk
-1 teaspoon cinnamon or vanilla
-1 tablespoon honey or real maple syrup
Mix everything together in a jar, put the lid on, and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, you can add a little milk, some extra sweetener, and fresh berries if you'd like. But it should be good to go and ready to eat.
This is the perfect grab-and-go, nutritious breakfast for everyone in the fam. There are so many online variations of overnight oats, and just a simple google search will quickly inspire you.
Breakfast #7: Avocado toast for kids
-1 slice whole grain toast
-drizzle of honey or real maple syrup (optional)
Some kids will go for this without the drizzle of sweetness, but it might help other kids who aren’t so sure about avocado.
So tell me, what are your go-to nutritious meals for your kids?