TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — The “Power of Breakfast” is the B-FIT wellness theme for the month of November. Be Fit in Tahoe (B-FIT) is an activity and wellness program implemented in TTUSD elementary school classrooms in partnership with Tahoe Forest Hospital District.
Not only is it important for children to eat breakfast every day, but what they eat for breakfast counts too!
Breakfasts that are high in protein and fiber, and low in added sugars, improve attention spans, concentration, and memory in school.
Children who eat breakfast every day are more likely to have diets that are higher in fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. They also tend to keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger, according to http://kidshealth.org.
Serve a balanced breakfast that includes at least three of the five food groups.
Protein: Helps you stay full longer and provides sustained energy over the morning. Eggs, low fat meats, cooked dried beans, and nuts and seeds (including nut butters) are good sources of protein.
Grains: Good sources of carbohydrates, which provide immediate energy for the body. Choose whole grains that are higher in fiber. Try whole-grain breads, waffles, muffins, and cereals, brown rice, wheat or oat bran, and other grains.
Dairy products: Provide protein and carbohydrates and are an excellent source of calcium. Choose yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) and other low-fat and non-fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, kefir, and cottage cheese.
Fruits: Choose whole fruits over fruit juices. Whole fruits provide vitamins and minerals and are a good source of fiber.
Vegetables: Great in egg dishes, smoothies (try spinach or other tender greens), and in juices. They are power packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and photochemicals.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, to help children understand the importance of breakfast, be sure to set a good example. When your children see you making time to enjoy breakfast every day, they will be more likely to do so themselves. Everyone should get off to a healthy start each day by refueling their brain and body!
Here are some quick and healthy breakfast ideas that include at least three of the five groups:
Whole-grain cereal (grain) + with berries (fruit) + and non-fat yogurt (dairy)
Whole-grain waffles topped with peanut butter or ricotta cheese and fruit
Hot cereal topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or cloves, add nuts and fresh fruit
Peanut butter on a whole-grain English muffin, fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk
Breakfast smoothie (1 percent milk or yogurt, fruit, and teaspoon of flaxmeal, whirled in a blender)
Vegetable omelet with whole-wheat toast and fruit
Bran muffin and yogurt with berries
Lean turkey with an egg on a toasted English muffin and vegetable juice
Heated leftover rice with chopped apples, nuts, and cinnamon, and milk
Low-fat cream cheese and fresh fruit, such as sliced strawberries, on whole-grain bread or a whole-grain bagel halved
Shredded cheese and/or beans on a whole-wheat tortilla (fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds) and top with salsa
For more breakfast tips and fun interactive games for children, visit www.nourishinteractive.com.
For more information about the B-FIT program and to get involved, contact the Community Health Staff of Tahoe Forest Hospital: Wendy Buchanan, Maria Martin, and Jill Whisler at 530-587-3769 or email@example.com.