Make the grade with a brain-boosting breakfast

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 From Washington Pediatrics

The days of EOG testing are here for many of our kids. Having breakfast in the morning has been shown to increase reading and math scores and improve memory, concentration, and alertness. Children can focus on school and not a growling stomach. Something is better than nothing, but to get the most benefits, choose a nutritious breakfast that is made of two or three of the food groups. Check out the tips below; it’s as easy as 1-2-3!

Pick one food out of each of the groups listed below for a high-scoring breakfast:

Protein:  Choosing lean proteins help breakfast last throughout the morning with the most nutrition.  Some ideas are eggs, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, milk, beans, or lean meat.

Grains:  Whole grains, such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat breads, and oatmeal, provide the extra benefit of fiber that refined grains don’t have to help your child stay full until lunch.

Fruit or Vegetables:  Choosing fresh fruits or vegetables instead of the juice also gives more fiber benefits.

Some ideas for a healthy breakfast include a whole wheat mini-bagel with egg and cheese and an orange; a whole grain pancake with fruit and yogurt, or leftover spaghetti with milk.

Time crunched? Some grab-and-go breakfast ideas include a low sugar granola bar with at least five grams of protein and grapes; squeezable applesauce and a squeezable yogurt; cereal and milk in a cup; or a bag of apple slices and string cheese. If you find your family in the car empty handed, store emergency breakfast snacks in a bag in your car. Ideas include mini boxes of cereal, granola or cereal bars with fiber and protein, squeezable fruit pouches, high-fiber crackers, nuts, trail mix, dried fruit and juice boxes.

Drive-through your best option?  Look for items with whole grains and fruit for the most benefits for your child, and avoid sugary foods that will cause a mid-morning “crash.” Ideas might include oatmeal, fruit and yogurt parfaits, McMuffin or muffin sandwiches with ham, egg, and/or cheese, apple fries/dippers and milk or 100-percent juice.

Washington Pediatrics, P.A., has served children and their families in Beaufort and the surrounding counties since 1955. Currently employing five board-certified pediatricians, two physician assistants, two staff psychologists, and a dietitian, the staff specializes in the management of well and sick infants and children through age 18 years.