Thursday, August 25, 2016

Quick Breakfasts for Back To School

The following blog post is sponsored by the American Egg Board and Egg Nutrition Center.  As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Busy school mornings can be challenging for parents and long school days can be equally tough on kids adjusting from the freedom of summer. As a dietitian I don’t have the secret formula for a straight-A student, but I do know the important role a good breakfast has in giving kids energy and focus. 

Research shows eating high-quality protein foods for breakfast, like eggs, can help you and your family feel more satisfied throughout the day.

I have always been a breakfast eater and I’m not ashamed to say that some days as a child I enjoyed donuts or even leftover cake for breakfast.  While it was delicious sometimes I found myself ravenous by 10am with lunch hours away.  I was on the right track by having SOME breakfast as multiple scientific studies demonstrate the cognitive benefits of eating breakfast, such as improved memory recall time, improved grades and higher test scores.[1][2] 

BUT what I was missing was high-quality protein.  The kind that’s easily found in eggs. 

Now that I’m the mom and have my own little one, I am focused on creating morning meals that fuel us both with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Many egg-based breakfasts fit that bill.  They also come together quickly, which is essential in the am.

Nutritionally eggs are a powerhouse, with one large egg containing 6 grams of high-quality protein and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, found within the concentrated natural yellow color of the egg yolk, as well as vitamins E, D, and A.

A current favorite recipe in our household is egg muffin frittatas.  They sound fancy but they’re oh-so easy to make.  If you already do weekend food prep these are great for you.  Once prepared you can store them in the fridge or even freeze for a fast breakfast in the future.
Kyle leaves the house at 0-dark-30 most weekday mornings and I’m just not the gal to get up with him and prep breakfast at that time.  Sorry babe! Each morning I send him on the way with 3 hard boiled eggs and a slice of oatmeal bake to eat as he drives.

Now that Bear is nearing 15 months she is eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.  Well maybe….we have the makings of a picky eater on our hands but scrambled eggs with cheese are always a hit.  I’m happy knowing she’s getting protein and the nutrients I shared above.  If she’s awake and we need food fast then I whip up these microwave mug scrambles.  They’re ready in 3 minutes and the clean up is fast too.  That’s a win, win for Mommy.
More good news for egg lovers? The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed the daily limit on dietary cholesterol and include eggs in all three recommended healthy eating patterns. This supports the consumption of eggs along with other nutrient-rich whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

Here’s to wishing you a happy, stress-free back to school season with many EGG-celent breakfasts.

What’s your favorite egg dish?
What did you have for breakfast today?

Love and sunny side up,

[1] Rampersaud G, et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. JADA 2005;105:743-760.
[2] Pollitt E, et al. Fasting and cognition in well-and undernourished school children: a review of three experimental studies. AJCN 1998;67:779S-784S. Vander Wal JS et al , et al. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J of Obesity 2008: 32(10):1545-1551.


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