Many people talk about the importance of breakfast--and there are all kinds of recipes and ideas to choose from--yet nearly half of all Americans skip breakfast. If you want new inspiration for the first meal of the day, look no further. It’s easier than you think to eat better at breakfast, regardless of how busy the day begins. And the benefits are bountiful – from better grades, better nutrition, and less risky behaviors, eating meals together matters.
- Be balanced. Meals and snacks that provide multiple food groups help make the mix of nutrients we need easier to get in on a daily basis. Think about two food groups for a snack, three for a meal, and you will be well on your way to interest, taste, and nutrition in your menus.
- Be open to the possibilities. There really are no rules for what foods are “right” for breakfast. From leftovers to grab and go, to quick meals that can be made in minutes, choose what’s right for you and your family. Every day brings a new schedule, so take a moment to review what’s coming up in the week ahead to make meals easy throughout the whole day.
- Be ready to go. Stock the kitchen (pantry, freezer, and fridge) with items that do double duty, working for more than one meal and snacks, too! Crackers, peanut butter, cheese sticks, seasonal fruits and vegetables, eggs, yogurt, and other items work well on their own or paired with other food groups to make a great meal. It doesn’t need to be formal or time consuming. Choose foods you like and organize them so you can easily eat them even on the run. Don’t forget the thermal lunch bag, an ice pack, and reusable containers that can easily go from dinner to breakfast as you wish.
- Be happy with your choices. Eating meals together and starting the day out right will help set the family up for success. Do your best each week to make this a goal, and with a little planning, it can help you manage food waste and use all the wonderful foods you buy in a tasty way.
- Be sure to include the whole family in the planning, preparation, and cleanup. From kids to adults, find something age appropriate for the little ones to do and have the older kids and other adults help with the more complex tasks.