Brighter, Brainier Breakfasts

Breakfasts feed the brain and help with school performance. Ninety-nine percent of 3rd graders say they eat breakfast, but by 8th grade, that number dropped to 85% students. Did you know that..

  • children who skipped breakfast had poorer attention and concentration and performed lower on testing than those who ate breakfast?
  • children who skipped breakfast were often more deficient in their total nutrient intake with vitamins and minerals?

The rule is that kids should eat breakfast and ideally they should start with a low-glycemic breakfast.  Studies have shown that kids who eat low-glycemic may have better concentration and those that start with a low-glycemic breakfast, may eat fewer calories throughout the day (British Journal of Nutrition, September, 2007).

So here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas:

  • add fresh fruit to cereal topped with low-fat yogurt
  • stuff a whole-wheat pita with cottage cheese and fruit (try frozen grapes for fresh fruit — they taste like sweet mini ice cubes!)
  • whole-grain toaster waffle sandwich with yogurt and berries in the middle
  • spread peanut butter on whole-wheat bread and wrap it around a banana
  • top a bagel with hummus or low-fat cream cheese and thin apple slices
  • peanut butter and banana slices on an English muffin
  • melt a slice of low-fat cheese (or try Veggie Slices for a soy cheese) over a scrambled egg on top of an English muffin
  • roll up a whole wheat tortilla with scrambled eggs and salsa
  • make a soy protein smoothie (see our family recipe below) with added omega-3 fats for added brain power
  • make a batch of healthy muffins for the family and freeze them,
  • add a fruit an yogurt for a quick breakfast

Are you stuck on unhealthy cereals? Try some healthier brands, like Mother’s or EnviroKidz or Kashi — most of their varieties have a bit less sugar and more protein. A couple tips for choosing healthier cereals:

  • The total carbohydrate-to-sugars ratio should be less than four to one (e.g., if the total carbohydrate line says 24 grams, the sugars line should be less than 6 grams).
  • It should contain at least 3 grams of protein.
  • Those with “whole wheat” or “bran” are healthier, but probably a tougher “sell” for most kids. Try mixing healthier cereals in with the less healthy varieties.

Talk to your kids about healthy brain and growing foods and help them understand that good foods breed healthy brains and bodies! Here is what our family uses for our favorite smoothie recipe.

Our Smoothie Recipe
1 1/2 cups water
2 scoops USANA Nutrimeal (low glycemic, GI of 23)*
1 scoop USANA Fibergy powder*
6-8 frozen strawberries or other frozen fruits
1 banana
2 tsp USANA Optomega (flaxseed oil)*

*For more information on these products and to order, check out the Shop.