Kids back to school? Busy schedules ahead? What to do about making time for meals together or making meals at all? It will take a little planning but studies show that there are several benefits of sitting down to eat with family or friends. One benefit is we tend to eat more balanced meals and a wider variety of foods. If you are not ready to tackle the supper table yet, how about claiming breakfast a few days per week as a time to be together? Breakfast can be a very simple meal and not time consuming to get on the table. Many schools in the area offer breakfast but here are a few ideas for making this work at home…
Keep It Simple: many breakfast items can be considered “fast food”… cold cereal with 1% milk; peanut butter on whole wheat bread or crackers; hard cooked egg and toast; banana and low fat yogurt; cottage cheese and canned fruit; even a left over piece of pizza and 100% fruit juice;
Get Everyone Involved: give everyone a job equal to his/her age and skill…run the toaster; pour the juice; dish up the fruit; peel the bananas; pour the cereal; or clear the table
Consider night-before prep: have dishes and silverware out; cook and chill several hard cooked eggs; cut up or thaw frozen fruit; stuff some celery with peanut butter;
Allow the extra time for that important breakfast meal by setting alarms a few moments earlier and having clothes out the night before;
Consider more “exotic” but equally simple breakfast foods: spread some refried beans on a tortilla (whole wheat if you dare), zap in microwave and top with a small amount of shredded cheese and generous portions of lettuce, tomato or salsa; or open a can of tuna- serve cold on toast with a side of canned or fresh fruit such as grapes, peaches or apple slices;
For more breakfast ideas and recipes, see Penn State Extension’s ABC’s of Growing Healthy Kids - Brighten Up With Breakfast at http://extension.psu.edu/publications/ee0119
Contact Penn State Extension for resources to support your food and nutrition goals. I can be reached in Elk County at 776. 5331 email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an idea for a health and nutrition program for your adult or youth club or organization, contact me to explore options.
Karen Schmidt MS RD LDN
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