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A Healthy Day for Your Children Starts with Breakfast

March 5, 2012

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The importance of healthy school lunches for our children continues to be a hot topic in the news. We’ve touched on the debate several times, and many of our graduates, like Amy Kalafa, author of Lunch Wars, are fighting hard to bring healthier options to the lunchroom. What we’ve touched on less is a meal equally as important to the health of our children: breakfast.

Mornings can be quite hectic. It’s often tough to find time to get ready for your busy day and get your kids ready for school – but that isn’t an excuse to cut out breakfast. Like adults, children who eat a healthy, filling breakfast are more likely to be successful during their school day.

While many schools offer breakfast meal plans for their students, the options usually include unhealthy, high-calorie meals such as pancakes drenched in high-fructose corn syrup or breakfast pastries. To ensure that your child starts their day off right, consider either feeding them at home before school or sending them off with a healthy meal to-go. Here are some nutritious breakfast ideas that are quick to prepare and will satisfy even the pickiest eater!

Maple Nut Granola

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Yields: 10 cups 

Ingredients

  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 275°F.
  2. Combine oats, coconut, almonds, pecans, brown sugar, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Combine syrup, water and oil in a medium bowl or large measuring cup and pour over the oat mixture; stir until well combined. Spread the mixture into a large (12-by-15-inch) roasting pan or large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir, and continue baking until golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 45 minutes more. Stir in cranberries and raisins. Let cool completely before storing.

This granola recipe is great to make a head of time. Just store in an air tight container and serve with yougurt or milk in the morning! 

Oatmeal Pancakes or Waffles

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes 
Yields: 2 Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons oil

Directions 

  1. Place all ingredients, except oil, in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Let stand a few minutes until batter thickens.
  3. If batter is too thick to pour easily, add some water.
  4. Heat oil in frying pan or skillet.
  5. Pour batter, by 1/4 - 1/2 cup, into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. For waffles: Pour into a heated waffle iron and cook for 10 minutes.

 

Do you have any easy and healthy breakfast recipes that your children love?