I can't believe it's that time of year already but the back to school season is upon us!
This means the end of summer vacation and getting back into routines, whether you're a parent, teacher, or just someone who has been taking wonderful vacations all summer! This time of year can be very stressful, especially in the mornings as we try to get a healthy, balanced breakfast into ourselves and our loved ones.
I find that many of my clients skip breakfast, usually because they say they don't have time in the morning. I know, mornings can be hectic but eating breakfast is important to help prevent feeling very hungry later in the day and eating more than feels good! Breakfast eating is also associated with improved intake of important nutrients such as fibre and calcium.
So what can be done when your morning is chaotic enough without trying to add breakfast to the mix? Try these easy, quick options for a nutritious start to the day:
Try a peanut butter banana wrap!
Grab a whole grain wrap, smear it with peanut butter, almond butter, or seed butter, place in a whole banana and wrap! Now you've got a source of fibre and protein that's quick and easy that the kids will love! If peanut allergies are an issue, this also works great with almond or seed butters!
Hard boil some eggs ahead of time and have them at breakfast!
Hard boil eggs ahead of time and have them with some whole grain toast and a piece of fruit for a super quick breakfast!
Make sure to pick a cereal that will sustain you and add some protein!
If you're a cold cereal person, pick a whole grain cereal (look for at least 2 grams of fibre per serving and less than 9 grams of sugar) and add some cow's or soy milk for protein. Top with some fruit and you've got a balanced breakfast!
Make a yogurt parfait!
Layer your favourite greek yogurt* with your choice of fruit**. In the morning, sprinkle some high fibre cereal on top and you're good to go!
* Check out the sugar content, however; as some can pack more sugar than ice cream! I like to buy plain greek yogurt and with sweet fruit, it often doesn't need anything else! Or you can try mixing plain greek yogurt with flavoured to cut the sugar!
**Tip: to save some time, try using frozen fruit instead of fresh.
Try an overnight oats recipe!
Here is a general guide:
1/2 cup of oats
1/2 a cup of greek yogurt or a mashed ripe banana (vegan)
1-2 tsp chia seeds
~3/4 cup of milk (unsweetened soy, almond, or cow's milk all work)
Sweetener of your choice to taste
Make extra pancakes or waffles on the weekend and freeze!
Once you've cooked them, freeze them individually on a parchment or silicone lined cookie sheet then put them in an air-tight container. In the morning, put them in the microwave or toaster oven, top with greek yogurt and fruit, and you've got a quick, tasty breakfast the whole family will love! For an even more filling breakfast, check out my Protein Pancake recipe!
Make some Breakfast Quesadillas ahead of time!
Throw them in the freezer without cutting them, throw them in the toaster oven in the morning,
and you've got a nutritious breakfast that will keep you going until lunchtime! Check out my recipe in my blog! Another option is to make a breakfast burrito, which is a bit more portable!
Make a smoothie!
So smoothies are a really quick and easy way to get a lot of nutrients into you but they can also be a huge source of sugar if you're not careful. They also may not keep you as satisfied since you don't have to chew them so if you're trying to manage your weight, these may not be the best option. Having a smoothie for breakfast is certainly better than nothing though so here are some tips for your morning smoothie:
Try to avoid using fruit juice and stick to whole fruits. Fruit juice adds a lot of sugar without much fibre so stick to whole fruits to keep you feeling fuller, longer
If you need some extra sweetness, try using half a ripe banana instead of sugar. This way, you'll get some added potatssium and fibre and it's a great way to use up those browning bananas on the counter!
Make sure you have some protein: this could be in the form of greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a protein powder but whatever you choose, make sure it's in there
For a liquid, try options like milk or unsweetened plant-based beverages like soy milk. That way you're not adding a ton of sugar to your breakfast and you're adding calcium and protein
Adding in greens can be a great way to increase your veggies at breakfast but keep in mind that the colour probably isn't super appetizing for the kids. Personally, I would rather have a regular smoothie and a salad with dinner but this one is up to you!
Still stuck? Check out my Breakfast Ideas Pinterest Board for more inspiration!
Hope this helps and I wish everyone a happy school year!