Don’t skip this meal

by Lori Wuellner

You would think the years of teaching healthy eating would have an osmosis effect on my boys, but I still struggle to get veggies and anything whole-wheat down them. Eating breakfast however is one important lesson they learned early on and continues to be a healthy habit they practice.

Eating breakfast has some big benefits such as fueling the body and brain for work or school. Children and adults who eat breakfast are able to concentrate and do better on their schoolwork and work. Eating breakfast helps with weight management too. People who skip breakfast more than make up for the calories later in the day.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy. Set your alarm clock to allow 15 minutes to eat, and try these tips to streamline hectic mornings.

- Set out cereal, bowls, spoons and glasses before bedtime. In the morning, fill bowls and add calcium-rich, fat-free milk and sliced banana, berries or other fruits to your cereal.

- For a heartier breakfast, such as homemade pancakes, waffles or muffins, mix the dry ingredients the night before. Mix the wet ingredients (such as buttermilk and eggs) and store in the refrigerator. In the morning, mix together and cook.

Keep it quick. Try to include three different food groups as you choose your morning meal. Including some protein (egg, milk, Greek yogurt) helps to keep you full longer.

- Scrambled egg with cheese, whole-wheat tortilla, and orange juice- add a little diced green or red bell pepper to the eggs for a nutritional bonus

- Breakfast burrito made with a whole-wheat tortilla, scrambled egg, a few turkey sausage crumbles and salsa

- Yogurt parfait (layers of vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit topped with crunchy cereal) or breakfast smoothie with your favorite fruit. Smoothies are a great way to use up bananas that are going brown. Just toss peeled bananas in a baggie or container and put them in the freezer. Add them to your smoothie in place of ice.

- Breakfast Cereal Bar and milk

Check out the Kids A Cookin’ website for more recipes…

A favorite breakfast in our home is a recipe from the Kansas Wheat Commission, Whole Wheat Pancakes. I mix the dry ingredients the night before and add the remaining ingredients in the morning. We usually have a bowl of fresh fruit on the side and milk.

If you’ve gotten out of routine with breakfast over the summer, now is a good time to commit to eating the “most important meal of the day!”
(Source: NDSU Extension Service, Food Wise Newsletter, Issue #271, August 2013)

Lori Wuellner is a Wyandotte County Extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, K-State Research and Extension, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. Telephone 913-299-9300, email

Breakfast Cereal Bars
3 cups whole-grain cereal (Chex, Cheerios, Kashi, etc.)
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup honey
1 cup raisins
¼ cup sliced almonds
1. In a bowl, mix together cereal, raisins, and almonds.
2. In another bowl, mix together peanut butter and honey.
3. Add dry ingredients to peanut butter/honey mixture. Mix well.
4. Press into a 9 x 9 pan.
5. For easier cutting, chill 20 minutes, then but into 16 squares. Wrap squares individually in plastic wrap for an on-the-go snack.
Makes 16 servings. Each serving has 200 calories, 26 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat and 7 g protein.
(Source: NDSU FoodWise)

Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oil
In medium bowl, stir or sift dry ingredients together. Beat egg, buttermilk, brown sugar and oil together. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Batter should be slightly lumpy.
Pour ¼ cup batter for each cake onto a well-seasoned hot griddle. Turn when bubbles appear on surface. Turn only once. Makes twelve 4-inch pancakes.
Optional: add ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries or serve hot, chunky, spiced applesauce or thick fruit sauce over pancakes instead of syrup for extra nutrition and fiber
Nutrition information per one pancake…77 calories, 3 g protein, 2 g fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 24 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium

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