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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

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

Breakast: It Really Is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Did your mom or dad ever tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, mom and dad are right. 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 this school year 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. Try these easy, breakfast ideas:

Ready-to-eat cereal topped with sliced banana and low-fat yogurt

Peanut butter on top of whole wheat toast or whole wheat English muffin

Instant oatmeal flavored with cinnamon, sugar/sweetener, raisins and a spoonful of canned pumpkin

Cooked egg, 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 non-fat 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!

Breakfast Split

1 small banana

½ cup low-fat yogurt

¼ cup granola or flake-style cereal

½ cup sliced or chopped fresh fruit


Cut banana in half lengthwise; place in shallow bowl. Top with yogurt, cereal, and fruit.

Yield: 1 serving

Nutritional analysis per serving: 357 Calories, 3 grams fat, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 134 milligrams sodium, 77 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 9 grams protein


Source: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

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