Get the Family off and Running With a Healthy Start

At the risk of sounding like your mother, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.

Not only does it provide the chance to fuel your body with the best possible nutrients, but taking a few moments to convene as a family can put everyone in the right frame of mind for the busy day ahead at work or school.

Some of the best reasons for breakfast include:

Breakfast gives you energy to start your day. When you wake up in the morning, your body has been fasting during the hours you were asleep. Eating breakfast gives your body (and brain) the energy needed to function—very important for school-aged children.

Breakfast improves concentration and school performance. Studies suggest that eating a healthy breakfast can improve brain function, stimulating a child’s memory, recall and learning, and helping them to perform better academically. Studies also show marked improvements in attendance and behavior and fewer incidences of problems such as depression, anxiety and hyperactivity when breakfast has been part of a child’s morning.

Breakfast leads to a healthy weight. Breakfast kickstarts the body’s metabolism and starts the calorie burn. Avoiding breakfast can actually slow your metabolism, causing you to burn fewer calories throughout the day.

Who would want to miss out on the above benefits? Unfortunately, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics estimates that 12-34 percent of children and adolescents regularly miss breakfast, with lack of time serving as the usual culprit. There are super simple ways to create a healthy morning routine, however, by making sure your fridge and freezer are stocked with the right ingredients.

Try these quick, nutritious ideas from The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA):

– Fill toasted waffles with peanut butter and jam for a breakfast version of a classic sandwich.
– Create a yogurt parfait by layering your favorite yogurt, fruits and granola.
– Make a tasty shredded cheese and veggie omelet and serve with precooked turkey sausage.
– Top pancakes with bananas, drizzle with honey and serve with a glass of milk.
– Mix yogurt, frozen berries, milk, juice and bananas in a blender for a delicious smoothie.
– For quick grab-and-go meals, have readily available hard-boiled eggs, string cheese, a variety of yogurts, frozen bagels, waffles, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches and a selection of fruit juices.

Source: National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association

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