National Nutrition Month: The benefits of eating (not skipping) breakfast

March 12, 2021

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Does your family skip breakfast often? Are you sometimes running out the door with a Pop-Tarts in hand? Although it may seem like a small part of our day, breakfast can have a big impact. Many people may rank breakfast on the bottom of their to-do list, but it may be a bigger deal than you think. Studies show breakfast provides many health benefits. For starters, it can improve concentration, leading to increased school attendance and test scores. Children who eat breakfast are able to solve problems more effectively and even improve their muscle coordination. 

When children and adolescents skip breakfast, they often miss out on important nutrients their bodies need to grow and function properly. Breakfast typically provides substantial amounts of important nutrients like protein, fiber, calcium and iron. These nutrients not only help bones develop and stay strong, they also play a vital role in helping our bodies function properly. 

Choosing a breakfast that contains both protein and fiber doesn’t have to be challenging.  Something as simple as spreading nut butter on whole grain toast or adding berries in yogurt will do the trick. Creating a weekly game plan can help your family be prepared and ensure you are getting adequate nutrients to start your day off right. Below are some simple breakfast meals that can be made in 10 minutes or less. 

  • Oatmeal with fresh or frozen fruit and chopped nuts
  • Yogurt parfait with granola, sliced almonds and fruit
  • Breakfast taco with eggs, turkey bacon, shredded cheese and salsa
  • Nut butter on top of whole grain toast with sliced bananas

Overnight oats are also a great option. See below for a simple recipe from Food Network.

Overnight Oats

Ingredients:
½ cup old fashioned oats or quick oats
1 cup yogurt
½ cup frozen fruit
1 tablespoon chia seeds or flaxseed 
Handful of chopped nuts (optional)
½ cup milk or milk alternative

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl or mason jar              
  2. Store in the fridge overnight
  3. Pull out of fridge.  Add more milk until desired consistency.  Enjoy!

Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Ingredients:
¾ cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
¼ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons granola
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Measure yogurt and place in bowl
  2. Top yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and granola
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on top if desired.  Enjoy!

To learn more about nutrition services at Texas Children’s, visit our website. We’re looking forward to sharing more information with you as we celebrate National Nutrition Month 2021.

Post by:

Erin Lindhorst, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian