A while back, a good friend of mine, an elementary school teacher at a small school north of Detroit, says “The kids are bouncing off the walls by 9:30.” It occurs to me that maybe their blood sugars are falling, though 9:30 a.m. is pretty early for that. Then he says that a snack usually helps get them back on track. Yeh, I think, it’s probably their blood sugars.
My friend says that, in his humble opinion, two of the biggest obstacles to learning that he sees on a daily basis in his classroom are 1) sleep deprivation and 2) the lack of a nutritious breakfast. He knows that their parents are busy, and that the onslaught of targeted marketing makes it that much harder for parents to buy nourishing food.
But white flour, corn syrup and sugar do not fit the bill, and we are compromising our kids’ ability to learn when we let the food industry decide what they should eat for breakfast.
So my friend and I enlisted the help of a few more friends, and we made up this list of morning meals that might appeal to kids and their parents:
1. Scrambled eggs. Or hard-boiled eggs (you could make a dozen on Sunday if you want).
2. Sweet potato (microwaved) and peanut butter (or almond butter).
3. Avocado slices, lightly salted, in a whole-wheat wrap (or any wrap).
4. Yogurt (organic, plain, whole milk) with your choice of berries, nuts, oats, and maple syrup.
5. Salmon and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel.
6. Apple slices and sunflower seed butter.
7. Melted colby cheese on whole grain toast.
8. Steel-cut oatmeal (Mix ½ cup oats + 1 cup water + 1/4 tsp. vinegar per serving) left on the counter all night, and heated in the microwave in the morning for 30 sec.
9. Leftovers from dinner — why not?
If you’d like to add more ideas in the comments below, please go right ahead! We can make a list that includes something for absolutely everyone! Let’s give kids choices, but let’s make those choices count.
As I told my own children once upon a time, I’m not saying you can’t eat white bread at school, and I’m not saying you can’t have the snacks you’re offered at your friends’ houses. I’m just saying that, in our house, on our watch, this is the kind of food we’ll be serving from now on. Make it count.