By Joshua PalmesNow that the new school year is here, and students have to once again get up early, it is vital that they get out the door having had a satisfying breakfast. However, parents want to be sure that it is also a nutritious one. For some expert suggestions on healthy breakfasts that are easy for parents (or even their kids) to prepare, we turned to Stamford nutritionist Linda Arpino.
Linda Arpino, MA, RDN, FAND
Life Focus Nutrition Center
21 Craig Court
Stamford, CT 06903
Linda Arpino is the CEO of Life Focus Nutrition, where she counsels patients on making better food choices. She works with both adults and children to plan a diet that includes foods that are healthy and tasty, with a special focus on plant-based nutrients. These, she says, will not only assist in warding off cancer and heart disease, but also contribute to one’s mental and emotional stability. (Life Focus also has an office in Rye Brook, NY. It can be reached at 914-935-0123).
Arpino is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and has contributed to several national health magazine and websites and has also made numerous appearances on television and radio. She is also author of the book Eat Fit, Be Fit: Health and Weight Management Solutions, featuring over 300 recipes. Here she offers seven of her favorite breakfasts for kids, one for each day of the week.
Fat Free Yogurt, Cheerios, Blueberries, Almond Slices
“Choose plain unflavored yogurt that has the seal of probiotics such as Chobani”, says Arpino. “Teach your child to flavor it with fruit and crunchy cereal such as Cheerios or Shredded Wheat and cinnamon.” Like the other breakfast meals she recommends, this one includes a protein, a grain, a fruit or vegetable, and a healthy fat.
Hummus, Whole Wheat Pita, Sliced Tomato, Avocado
Here is one example of a vegan breakfast your kids may enjoy. But whether they have a vegan dish or one with dairy, Arpino stresses your children should get up early enough to enjoy it at the table. “Don’t grab and go.”
Fat Free Milk, Oatmeal, Raisins, Walnuts
Arpino favors meals with a low glycemic load that will sustain your kids throughout the morning. “Don’t have foods with lots of added sugar: breakfast bars and cereals that say ‘Honey’, ‘Crunch’ or ‘Frosted’ are clues.” A good alternative is oatmeal flavored with raisins and walnuts.
Low Fat Swiss Cheese, Ak-Mak Crackers, Apple Slices, Olives
For the sake of heart health Arpino advises the use of fat free or low fat dairy products as in this meal, which combines crackers, Swiss cheese and apple slices.
Beans, Burrito, Mango, Guacamole
This breakfast burrito is another vegan selection that could be a big hit with your kids. Arpino adds that whole foods such as this are preferable to “smoothies that break down the natural fiber in the food and digest quicker.”
Part Skim Ricotta Mixed with Cinnamon, Waffle, Organic Strawberries, Almonds
For those shopping for products for these meals she says to avoid those with high sodium or made with bleached flour. Also, “Try to include at least five grams of fiber at the meal. Check food labels.”
Egg, Hash Brown Potatoes, Orange, Olive Oil
Finally, Arpino adds, “Keep it simple; resist the trap of ‘I don’t like that.’ If they know they will get the preferred food such as Honey Nut Cheerios they may try to push your boundaries!”
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