Quick And Healthy Breakfasts

Not sure what to serve your hungry crew for breakfast? Try one of the following ideas to give them a healthy start.

Medical experts claim that a healthy breakfast provides energy, clear thinking, and a wholesome start to a busy day. But many of us do without breakfast because we're in a hurry or don't feel particularly hungry first thing in the morning.

If you're concerned about getting your family to eat a nutritious meal before leaving the house each day, here are a few suggestions that may help:

1. Plan meals ahead of time, like the night before. Make sure you have desirable food items available and ready to be prepared early the next day. If you're out of a key ingredient, it's better to find out ahead of time and plan a substitute. Set out dishes and silverware or packing materials like sandwich bags and foil so that you're ready for an early start.


2. Look for recipes that are tasty, easy to fix, and nutritious? Sound like a tall order? It doesn't have to be. Kids enjoy sandwiches, for example, so fry sausage patties or links ahead of time and refrigerate. Then reheat in the microwave for breakfast and place two or three links between two slices of low-fat toast. Top with mustard or another favorite dressing and they're ready to serve, even when kids are running late and must eat on their way out the door to catch the bus.

3. Buy preferred dry cereal in bulk. The night before scoop out individual serving sizes (about three-fourths of a cup) into individual sandwich bags and have them waiting on the table first thing in the morning. Set out the milk and pour juice, and breakfast is ready. If someone runs late, they can grab the bag of cereal and eat it in the car or on the bus minus the milk. Fortified cereal contains vitamins and minerals that can launch your family into a productive day.

4. Cut up fruit like bananas, apples, pears, and peaches and open a can of pineapple. Combine all into a fruit cup and serve individually. Top with whipped cream for flair and serve with hot cocoa for a festive and fun meal.

5. Set out several toast toppings, such as apple butter, peanut butter, jam, jelly, and butter. As family members arrive at the table, simply make toast and pass it to each person for their choice of topping. For a special treat on cold mornings, butter several slices of bread and toast them in the broiler for a crunchier taste and texture.

6. For a total breakfast on the run, stock up on fortified cereal bars, packaged fruit cups, and juice containers. The entire meal can be stuffed into a brown lunch bag and eaten somewhere between home and the final destination of work or school, or perhaps during a morning break.

7. If you have time the day before, prepare an egg and sausage or bacon casserole in the oven. Refrigerate overnight and re-heat in the oven or microwave before serving on a plate. If someone is in a rush, he or she can have a slice of casserole tucked into a paper napkin or on a paper plate or in a Styrofoam bowl.

Breakfast can be nutritious without becoming a sit-down, formal affair. Plan ahead, keep ingredients on hand, and inform family of the expectations. Then hand off your well thought out menu ideas and heave a sigh of relief as each person devours a nourishing start to their day.

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