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

Ratchet Up Your Breakfast to a New Level

This week I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about the typical American breakfast, namely toast bagels muffins waffles pancakes “cereal” biscuits bread. Basically just white flour and sugar. Stripped carb. I put “cereal” in quotes because the word cereal really means grain (like oatmeal, millet, kasha, bulgur wheat), and not boxes of sweetened, dyed, highly processed products of limited nutritional value.

Something I’ve noticed just in the past few months is that EVEN friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have made the switch to real food, and who have rid their kitchens of items from that list of typical American breakfast foods above (at least most of the time) can still be strongly influenced by the list. Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Muffin-y Goodness

Of course, this is an especially good week for an egg recipe…

My sister saw a recipe for these beauties last week, and now you should try them! I love the idea of eating a few for breakfast, taking some for lunch, popping one or two for a mid-afternoon snack, and then making a whole new batch. But maybe not all on the same day.

My advice? Use eggs with the brightest orange-yellow yolks, berries with deepest warmest color, and the sweetest, ripest bananas you can find. You can’t possibly go wrong! Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sharon’s Sweet-Potato Oatcakes

This week I have an amazing new recipe from my friend, Sharon, who was so pleased with it that she decided to send it along to share with us! I am thrilled to be able to post it for you today, because I imagine that you are going to love it, too! I doubled her recipe to give you a few extra to share or save for breakfast tomorrow. Thank you, Sharon! Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Sweet Apple Breakfast Bowl

People are always asking me for new breakfast ideas, and I’ve listed more than a few in these blog entries. In this recipe, using an idea I had never seen before, the apples supply the moisture that allows the chia seeds to grow and supply texture, crunch and protein. Make yourself a Sweet Apple Bowl for breakfast, or put your meal into a small bowl with a tight lid, and take it to work for lunch. Continue reading

YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Apple-Walnut Oatmeal

Late last week, somehow, while no one was looking, autumn flew by and winter blew in. It’s an achingly beautiful look — trees still completely covered with gold or red leaves, shivering in the foreground of a white crystalline landscape, the lake dark grey in the distance. And it’s really cold, unexpectedly so, so here’s what I’m having this morning. It’s a lot of flavor for breakfast, and they’re all the right kinds. You might smile while you’re eating it. Continue reading