Posted by Sima Cohen
Breakfast provides children with the energy they’ll need and the essential nutrients they need to concentrate on school work and studies. Research conducted as recently as 2011 shows that breakfast provides as much as 25% of the recommended daily allowance for key nutrients, such as protein, vitamin A and B6, calcium, iron and zinc.
Q: But really, why is it so important to give our kids breakfast?
A: Children who don’t skip breakfast have been shown to have higher achievement scores, increased focus and concentration in the classroom, and they are more likely to establish healthy eating habits that in the future will help them to prevent weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.
Q: Okay. So what is a balanced breakfast?
A: One that consists of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fat. Translation: one that will stabilize their blood sugar and keep them satisfied until their next meal, which is the secret for sustaining energy, keeping hunger and cravings at bay, and preventing weight gain.
The bottom line is don’t let your kids skip breakfast! Eating something is always better than eating nothing at all.
My best advice is to set a healthy example. Your kids look up to you! If you don’t eat breakfast, than why should they? If they see you eat, chances are they will mimic you and do the same. Problem solved! I believe that establishing this important habit ensures that they will grow up with healthy eating habits, understanding that food is fuel and that it’s good for them. And that is absolutely invaluable.
Peace & Breakfast,
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March 8, 2012 | 6:28 pm
Posted by Sima Cohen
Be honest: the first thing you hear when you pick up your kids is, “Mom, I’m hungry!” It’s too early for dinner, but you can still give them a fun snack that’s quick, easy to prepare, and that will hold them over until dinner. This fun, colorful dish is just as entertaining to eat as it is satisfying:
Fruit Kabob with Yogurt Dip
4 cubes watermelon
4 cubes honeydew melon
2 large skewers
16 oz. low fat or fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp. slivered almonds or pistachios
2 tbsp. honey or truvia
1. In a medium bowl, mix fruit with honey or truvia.
2. Assemble kebabs by alternating fruit on skewers.
3. Grill over medium heat for 2 minutes each side.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, almonds or pistachios, and chopped fresh mint. Serve as dip.
When dinner rolls around, they’ll come back to the kitchen with the same line. So, what now? Below are two dinner options that can be our little healthy secret! I gave them each a makeover and added a few secret ingredients to up their healthy quotient and reduce the fat, sugar, and salt. You can even have these yourself for lunch the next day! Bon Apetit!
Better Mac and Cheese
4 C macaroni noodles
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/3 C cooked, mashed yams
1/3 C low-fat milk
½ C low-fat Greek yogurt, whisked
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
1. Cook macaroni noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.
2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add whole wheat flour and whisk, making a paste. Gradually add the milk and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Add the yams and continue stirring.
3. Add cheese, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Add the noodles and coat with the cheese mixture.
4. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and serve.
Breaded Chicken Nuggets
8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 Cup Kashi 7 Whole Grain Flakes Cereal
1/2 Cup Kashi Honey Puffs Cereal
4 tbsp. raw honey
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a baking sheet using nonstick spray.
2. Place cereals in a Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, crush until cereals have the consistency of bread crumbs. (You can also place them in a food processor.) Pour cereal into a bowl and add salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Coat chicken strips with honey and dip them in the cereal crumbs. Line strips on baking sheet so strips are not touching.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn and bake for 8-10 more minutes. Serve with your favorite low fat dipping sauce!
Peace and Happy Kids!