I can’t quite believe how quickly the summer is flying by, and with back-to-school right around the corner, it’s time to think about breakfasts. We’ve all heard it—breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and gets us off to a good start. We need energy to study, work, and play! Many studies have shown improvements in concentration and learning for children who eat breakfast, and starting the day with a healthy breakfast helps adults, too. As a dietitian, I look for breakfasts that are high in fiber, have some protein, and not too much added sugar. There are great options from both the regular grocery store and specialty products.
Some of the best choices:
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein. Add in some berries and sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed or chia (Salba) to get in a little extra fiber.
Get creative with eggs: scrambled eggs, omelets, huevos rancheros, or even hard-boiled for an inexpensive, high protein on-the-go breakfast. Add in veggies with the eggs for a more filling breakfast with more antioxidants and fiber. Three to four whole eggs weekly won’t affect cholesterol levels, and if that’s a concern, egg whites are always an option.
Smoothies are also a great way to get in some additional fruit in your diet, and most kids enjoy them, too. Just make sure to get some protein, from Greek yogurt, protein powder or even tofu.
Don’t forget old standbys, like cottage cheese or ricotta cheese and fruit, lean sausages, grits, etc.
Some mainstream breakfast options are naturally gluten-free, like most kinds of Chex (not wheat Chex, of course) Sprinkle in a spoon or two of ground flax seed to get in a little extra fiber And, of course, there are more and more gluten-free versions of the typical standards. EnviroKidz has some for children of all ages, like Gluten-free Rice Krispies (watch out, regular ones have gluten), Gorilla Munch and Koala Kids , and these are in most local supermarkets. Many stores sell gluten-free bagels, muffins, scones, waffles or other sweet breakfast treats. Or, for a freshly baked lower sugar and higher fiber option, Marion’s Smart Delights has muffins at the Happy Tart in Alexandria.
Looking ahead to chilly mornings, hot cereals are a great way to start the day with fiber and whole grains. Most gluten-free grains cook up nicely as hot cereals. My personal favorite is millet, but kasha (buckwheat), quinoa flakes, amaranth, teff, etc. work well, too. It’s easy to make a big pot and have them all week long. Bob’s Red Mill has a few nice options, like Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal . Don’t forget about certified gluten-free oatmeal, which can be found at specialty stores or online.
You can also think beyond usual breakfast foods for a change of pace. Soups or any kind of leftovers work well, and you’re only limited by your imagination!
Back to School G-Free Resources
Celiac Sprue Association has a newly updated for 2012, detailed section on back-to-school with tips for parents, teachers, students and more.
Carol Kicinski of Simply Gluten Free and a bunch of gluten-free bloggers (including yours truly!) have teamed up for a new magazine debuting in November 2012. More info here!
Harris Whole Health offers individual sessions, family sessions and group classes to help people eat healthier and feel better! Whether you are dealing with a specific health concern, or if you just want to feel and look better, Cheryl can help you achieve your goals. For an appointment with Cheryl Harris, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, please click here or call 571-271-8742.