Food & Diet

Preparing A Healthy Breakfast

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, the majority of us still tend to opt for the convenience of sugary cereals, quick fatty treats like muffins or donuts, or skip breakfast entirely. Especially if you have children, modeling healthy eating habits and providing nutritious breakfast choices is crucial in teaching your children about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Many of these healthy meals are simple enough that your child can prepare them in the morning by themselves. Having kids help out in the kitchen is a great way to get the whole family involved in making healthy food choices. This also allows your children to offer some input into what foods they prefer. Always be sure to supervise small child when sharp items or the oven is involved.

Although delicious and scrumptious, Mexican food is frequently loaded full of fat and calories. If you’re craving a taste of fiesta fare, try this healthy breakfast burrito alternative. To further cut back on calories you can exchange the eggs for egg whites. Top off this burrito with your favorite hot sauce or salsa.

Breakfast Burrito
Ingredients Needed:
Cooking spray
4 egg whites or 2 eggs
4 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup fat free cheese of your choice
1/2 cup low sodium canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Chili pepper flakes and pepper to taste
Salsa and hot sauce to taste

Cooking Directions:
In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the egg whites or whole eggs. Lightly spray a skillet with cooking spray and scramble the eggs. Microwave the tortillas for 15-20 secs; just enough to warm them slightly. Divide the eggs evenly over the four whole wheat tortillas.

Finely slice the red onion. Respray your skillet and cook the red onion until it begins to brown. Add in the black beans. Season with chili pepper flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cook for approximately three minutes, or until the beans are warmed through. Spread the bean mixture evenly over the four tortillas. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese. Roll up each tortilla into a wrap. Add salsa or hot sauce to taste.

Breakfast parfaits are quick, simple and require no cooking. Adding in berries is an excellent way to satisfy an early morning sweet tooth craving, without succumbing to unhealthy, sugary options. This recipe is easy enough that children can prepare it themselves. Include any of your favorite fruits or use whatever is fresh and in season.

Berry Breakfast Parfait
Ingredients Needed:
1/2 cup fat free vanilla yogurt or fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low fat granola or muesli cereal
Your choice of mix berries or other fruit

Directions:
Chop up your berries or other fruits. Being by adding a layer of fruit to the bottom of your dish, followed by a 1/4 cup of yogurt. Add the granola or muesli, followed by the rest of the yogurt. Top off the parfait with fruit.

Pancakes were a childhood favorite for many; for a healthy alternative to the standard flap jack, try this oatmeal based pancake recipe.

Berrylicious Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes
Makes about a dozen pancakes
Ingredients Needed:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking, whole grain oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups soy milk
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 cup blueberries

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the wheat flour, brown sugar and baking powder. Add in a pinch of salt.

In a second mixing bowl, stir together oats and soy milk. Mix in the eggs. Stir together until the eggs are thoroughly whisked. Pour the oat mixture into the flour mixture and stir together. Add in the blueberries. Stir until there are no lumps left in the mix. Heat a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Use a 1/4 cup to dollop out the batter. When the batter starts to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Each side will need approximately one minute. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

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