March is Nutrition Month, which means Dietitians across Canada rally together to bring you relevant nutrition information around a particular topic. This year, the theme centers on Eating 9 to 5! We realize that families no matter the size can find eating healthy to be a challenge. This is especially true with rushed mornings, limited breaks, multiple work meetings, appointments and of course end-of-the-day dinner struggles.
In fact, almost 40% of Canadians skip breakfast, increasing their risk for morning brain drain.
On that note, let’s dissect the breakfast. This is usually the first day of the meal for many Canadians. Unfortunately, it’s also often skipped and not given the attention it oh-so-lovingly deserves. I get it, when you need to beat rush hour traffic to make it in time to work (after brewing your cup of Joe and dropping off the little humans), eating a solid breakfast may not be on your morning “to do” list.
What if you knew these interesting facts about eating healthy breakfast:
- It’s linked to health weights and reduced weight gain over time
- You can achieve improved appetite control so you can avoid morning munchies
- You’ll be more alert and better able to concentrate at work (or school)
- And, you’ll likely have a better intake of key nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fibre
Have I got you convinced yet? Yes! Read on.
The key to having a star breakfast is to keep it simple and plan ahead.
- On the weekend make a big batch of hot cereal like dahlia (Indian cracked wheat) or baked oatmeal. Pre-pack in individual servings, top with some fruit and refrigerate.
- Get in a routine of hard boiling a few eggs. In the morning, grab an egg or two, whole wheat toast and a fruit! Of course your chai or latte can pack well into a travel mug. Tip: gradually reduce the amount of sugar you use, this way you can enjoy the natural flavor of your tea/coffee.
- Blend up a smoothie. At home, my husband and I usually make a 1L serving of smoothie and portion them into mason jars to keep for a few days. Smoothies are a big trend right now and can often be packed full of fruits and veggies. Have you tried my Tropical Green Smoothie? Yum.
- Enlist some help and get baking. If you have little ones at home, get them into the kitchen to help whip up a few dozen muffins. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the freezer for a quick grab n’ go breakfast. Try these yummy breakfast muffins.
- Stock your pantry with nutritious cold or dry cereals. What could be easier? Look for cereals that are high in fibre the next time you’re at the grocery store. What you want to do is find a product that has at least 4 grams of fibre per serving. Reading the nutrition facts table will offer you a wealth of information. A few packaged cereals currently in my pantry include:
- Kashi GoLean Original (13 grams of protein!)
- Kellogg’s All Bran Buds (I love adding a sprinkling of this cereal with another cereal, or, it’s great on yogurt for crunch)
- Nature’s Path Optimum Power ® Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Cereal (9 grams of protein AND fibre, #winning)
What's your favorite breakfast? Is there something you specifically struggle with? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.
Please note, the above information is adapted from the Dietitians of Canada's Nutrition Month Campaign Materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2015.ca.