Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Healthful Breakfasts to Beat the Morning School Rush

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Healthful Breakfasts to Beat the Morning School Rush

Article excerpt

Mornings can be hectic when you're rushing out the door for school. Brush teeth, get dressed, gather up book bags, lunches, pencils and paper. But wait, what about breakfast?

Fitting breakfast into the morning routine can be a challenge. About 10 percent of all school-age kids skip that meal, and by the time kids enter adolescence, as many as 30 percent have completely given up the first meal of the day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

These early-morning calories offer many benefits. They fuel the body and the brain, helping children focus better in school.

Besides a lack of time, another reason kids, particularly girls, may be skipping breakfast is to try to avoid weight gain. But studies show that children who eat breakfast on a regular basis are less likely to be overweight than those who bypass the morning meal (and then tend to overeat later in the day).

A new school year can mean a fresh start on healthful eating habits. Karen Diaz, a registered dietitian in Wyckoff who regularly works with children and adolescents, shares some tips on how to make the most important meal of the day really count:

* A hectic morning is no excuse

"Parents need to get organized and make breakfast a priority," Diaz says. It's helpful that the best breakfast foods are the easiest to make. Diaz suggests popping a couple of frozen multi- grain waffles in the toaster and spreading some all-natural peanut or almond butter and jelly on them. Or prepare other tasty but healthful treats ahead of time.

"I'll make a lot of muffins, either the night before or whenever I have time, and then just freeze them," Diaz says. Paired with a banana, these are high-fiber breakfasts that take no time at all.

* Get into a routine

For one of Diaz's teen clients, breakfast meant a quick bowl of cereal. After slowly getting into a routine of healthier eating, she was convinced to change it up for good. …

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