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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Banana Bread Oatmeal

Choose Breakfast for a Healthy Start

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But I'm going to. Because it is! Years and years of research show a multitude of benefits from eating breakfast. But sadly, breakfast is often a meal that is neglected or skipped. Do you and your children take the time to eat breakfast every day?

After a good night's sleep and many hours without a meal or snack, your body needs to refuel. Most importantly, your brain needs a fresh supply of glucose, its main energy source. So if you expect your child to do well in school or your own self to succeed at your job, eat a hearty breakfast! This doesn't mean that you need to make eggs Benedict or homemade Belgium waffles. Here are some easy, breakfast ideas:

  • Ready-to-eat cereal topped with sliced banana and low-fat yogurt
  • Peanut butter on top of whole wheat toast or a whole wheat English muffin
  • Instant oatmeal flavored with cinnamon, sugar/sweetener, raisins and a spoonful of canned pumpkin
  • Ham or Canadian bacon on a toasted whole wheat English muffin and vegetable juice to drink
  • Leftovers from the night before and a glass of milk

Yes, even leftovers can do if you're just not a traditional breakfast-food-type person. And if you're just not hungry in the morning, start with something light, such as a slice of toast and then have a mid-morning snack like yogurt or a hard-boiled egg. If you're always scrambling to get out the door and you just "don't have time for breakfast" set the alarm just 10 minutes earlier! But if you have to, plan on a breakfast that is mobile. For instance, sip on an instant breakfast shake, take a carton of yogurt, a baggie full of grapes, or whole grain crackers and low-fat string cheese. Your child may want to take advantage of the School Breakfast program. Remember to be a good role model and eat breakfast, too!

Try this super easy oatmeal. And use quick oats for a quick breakfast!

Banana Bread Oatmeal Printable PDF

1 ½ cups fat-free milk

1 ½ tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked

1 medium-sized ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

In medium saucepan, bring milk, brown sugar, spices and salt to a gentle boil (watch carefully); stir in oats. Return to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute for quick oats, 5 minutes for old fashioned oats, or until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Remove oatmeal from heat. Stir in mashed bananas and pecans. Spoon oatmeal into two cereal bowls. Top with yogurt, sliced bananas and pecan halves, if desired.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrients Per Serving: 379 Calories, 15 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 63 grams carbohydrate, 7 grams dietary fiber, 405 milligrams sodium, 4 milligrams cholesterol

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I focus mainly on eggs. I eat 5 everyday for breakfast, removing 4 yolks and only using 1. I cook the eggs different ways but I am assured it can only be a bit better (20%) if I remove the last yolk.
by Mel Ville on Sunday 8/26/2012