Mornings can be a busy time for many people. Whether it’s preparing for work, getting kids ready for school or merely trying to jump-start the day, breakfast is an important tool to get things going on the right foot.

With many students returning to the classroom, it is essential to ensure that they are getting a complete breakfast. This can be done either at school or before walking through the school doors each morning.

Sometimes, it’s all we can do to grab a pastry or piece of toast on our way out the door. But, a balanced breakfast is the key to a healthy day for children. When possible, help your child eat from two or more food groups to make sure they are getting a variety of nutrients that support growth and development, like calcium, iron, vitamins and healthy fats.

Breakfast has even more vital components for growing children, especially for school-age children. By eating a proper breakfast, children will have the needed energy to be ready to learn at school. Eating a healthy breakfast can offer other benefits such as improved concentration, better grades and a healthier weight. In fact, there are studies that show children who eat breakfast tend to have better school attendance, are less tardy and have fewer hunger-induced stomach aches in the morning.

Breakfast Tips

It is easy for adults and children to eat a healthy breakfast, regardless of how much time is available. If there’s plenty of time, scrambled eggs and turkey bacon with a side of sliced sweet pepper is an excellent start to the day. If there’s a time crunch, a toasted whole-grain English muffin sandwich with peanut butter and sliced banana is a solid option. Add a piece of fruit to the sandwich and start the day.

If there’s not much time for anything other than waking up and brushing teeth, consider making something the night before and warming it up in the microwave. The Live Well Alabama recipe for Rise and Shine Muffins could provide for multiple days. The results are several protein- and veggie-loaded muffins that can be refrigerated for a quick morning meal all week.

Ingredients:

• Cooking spray

• 6 eggs

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1/2 cup spinach, chopped

• 3 slices bacon or bacon substitute, cooked and crumbled

• 1 tomato, diced or 1 can tomatoes, 14 ounces, diced

• 1/3 cup cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 6-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Crack and mix eggs in a bowl.

Add spinach, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese to egg mixture. Stir to mix.

Divide egg mixture evenly among muffin tin cups.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to eat.

For more nutritious recipes and tips on healthy eating, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.

– Lori Wheeler is the DeKalb County Extension Coordinator.

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