In summer the days are long, hot, and feeding is easy, well, easier. Throw something on the BBQ. Toss some seasonal veggies in a salad. Summer eating is just more relaxed, and meal times are flexible. As fall draws near, so does back to school and busy routines. Fixed schedules and different demands on our time can make healthy meal prep challenging – especially breakfasts.
It’s true what they say – breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. As many parents know, it can be hard to get their kids to eat breakfast – and even harder for parents to grab their own breakfast. Here are 3 smart-‘n-easy secrets to a healthy, balanced breakfast:
“Let your Kid be the chef”: We all know, a great breakfast requires some strategic assembly – and a bit of magic getting kids up and ready in time to eat it before they leave. “Let your kid be the chef” means providing some key ingredients and having your kid(s) help assemble their own breakfast. Prep when there’s a bit more time. For example, while you are making dinner or during clean up, have kids think about what type of breakfast they want and let them pick out the ingredients.
A couple easy and nutritious options – overnight oats or a smoothie. Overnight oats can be assembled in small mason jars or individual containers while you are making dinner. Kids will love measuring and pouring in different add-ons like coconut, Hemp Hearts, fruit, or even chocolate chips. Refrigerate overnight, then simply grab and enjoy in the morning. If in a small portable container, you can even take with you on the go if really running late.
Or, try a smoothie. You can give kids cut up fruits and protein powder like Hemp Pro to load into the blender the night before. This makes for one less step in the morning. No time to prep the night before, simply add a protein smoothie powder to a non-dairy beverage in a shaker cup for breakfast on the move.
If you are really ambitious, try making homemade granola bars or muffins on the weekend for an easy weekday morning grab and go. Add more protein by incorporating protein powder with the flour, or adding in some Hemp Hearts to the batter.
“Shake up the Menu”: Are your kids balking at breakfast because it’s the same old thing daily? Shake things up to beat breakfast boredom. Here’s a secret to getting them back on track: Break the (breakfast food) Rule. Instead of only having breakfast foods for breakfast, let them have their other favourite foods. Last night’s leftover pizza, why not? It is better that they eat something then start their day on an empty stomach.
If uncomfortable feeding kids leftover pizza for breakfast, make up for it by including some healthy snacks in their lunch bag or as part of their afternoon activities. Hemp Heart Bites for example are crunchy bite-sized snacks that offer 10g protein and 10g omegas per serving. The best part – Hemp Heart Bites do not contain any known allergens so are safe for most schools and kids programs. (Note: Hemp Heart Bites are however packaged in a facility that also handles tree nuts).
“Be the Role Model”: Our kids may do what we tell them to do (well, most of the time), but what they see us doing is what really sticks with them. Not only is having a better breakfast key to YOUR optimal health, it’s also the key to your kids’ better health habits. Telling them to eat a good breakfast while they watch you toss back an espresso shot won’t work in the long run (for any of you). If you want them to find time for breakfast you’ve got to abide by the same rules.
Back to school can be intense and tiring. Resist the urge to gravitate to sugary treats and quick carbs to temporarily boost your energy. Focus on options that offer some nutritional value that will help fuel your active life. Some say apples help energize you. Try a snack of apple slices with nut or nut-free butter. A packaged snack option is Hemp Heart Bites. These delicious crunchy, bite-sized snacks contain protein and omegas, and are great for any age.
Whatever the option, make sure you are fuelling your back to school with balanced nutrition and healthy choices.