Nourishing Breakfast Ideas for Kids and the Parents Who Love Them

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 be eating 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.


Make Your Insulin Last a Lifetime

If you’ve seen my TED talk, then you know I spend a fair amount of time teaching folks how to use their insulin more efficiently so that they don’t run out, and so they have enough (hopefully) to last a lifetime. Insulin is like a valet service that escorts blood sugar from your blood to all your cells. If you don’t have enough, your sugars start to rise. The fact is that even though you need insulin to live, it is not your friend. You want to use as little as possible. You want the levels of insulin in your bloodstream to stay as low as possible. Just like blood sugar, you want your insulin levels to remain low. Why? Continue reading



Stripped Carbs First Thing in the Morning? No!

Having a hard time understanding why breakfast is the one meal of day that you should not eat toast, bagels, muffins, waffles, pancakes, cereal, biscuits, bread or grits? Here’s why:

When you eat foods that are rich in fiber, fat and protein, it takes quite a while for your body to break them down. So they get absorbed into your bloodstream very slowly. But whenever you eat items made primarily from sugar and other kinds of stripped carbs, your digestive system absorbs the ingredients very quickly.  Continue reading




YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sweet Potato Brownies

I’ve heard of black bean brownies before, and I have even made them on occasion, but I had never heard of sweet potato brownies until a couple of weeks ago. This recipe comes from Katherine, a newly arrived co-worker who is committed to good health, running in the sunshine, and preparing delicious, nutritious food. Lucky for us! The amount of sweetness in this recipe makes it perfect for a special dessert, though I wouldn’t hesitate to eat it for breakfast, either.  Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brigid’s Chocolate-Chip, Goji-Berry, Gluten-free Muffins

I happen to have the privilege of working with some very talented people, and Brigid Titgemeier is one of them! Brigid started a blog this year to share her expertise as a registered dietitian, and you must check it out. This past week she posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Muffins, which she describes as “the perfect way to combine the nutritional benefits of eggs and oatmeal in one delicious muffin!” No complaints here. The nourishing, high-quality ingredients add up to a spectacularly gorgeous, delicious, and satisfying yum! And so much better than a “breakfast bar.” Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Simplest Salad

I’ve been making this salad for breakfast, yes breakfast, for months now. I know it’s a bit unconventional in the U.S. to eat salad for breakfast (though not in Europe and the Middle East), but it’s such a great way to start the day. Its success is built on simplicity. My strategy remains similar, week in and week out. It is never quite the same, and always delicious. Thank you to Alice Waters for teaching me to eat simply. This salad makes one single serving, but is infinitely flexible if you’d like to invite a friend or an army to your table to share a meal. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Breakfast Blueberry Scones

You may not have realized, but scones don’t need to be made with wheat flour. These gorgeous scones, made from nut flour, are flavorful and sweet, gentle and crumbly on your tongue, and full of nourishing ingredients. Whether you’re wheat-sensitive or simply curious, these scones are the perfect treat if you’re looking for a sweet, nutritious something to enjoy with your morning tea or coffee. Continue reading