Sweet Easy Breakfast Alternatives to Sugary Kids’ Cereal
School mornings are hectic enough without having to worry about cooking breakfast to keep your child healthy. A quick bowl of cereal or a granola bar is usually the most feasible option for busy moms, dad and kids. However, sugary kids cereals can be harmful in the long run to their metabolism and also builds a sweet tooth they will battle later in life. Choose the following options to boost your children’s metabolism and brain power in morning classes, keep them full and happy until lunch, and train their palettes to crave natural, fiber-rich foods over processed sugars.
Chocolate soy milk, such as the Silk product, is a low sugar, nutrient packed alternative to traditional milk. Pouring chocolate soy milk on any a healthy bowl of flakes, such as Special K or Frosted Mini-Wheats, will attract your kids without loading their bowls with high-fat and sugar contents of whole chocolate milk or sugared cereals. This works especially well with Special K’s Chocolate Delight cereal which features chunks of real chocolate with healthy, vitamin packed flakes. This combination will cure any chocolate craving and make your kids think they are getting away with a junk food breakfast.
Add Fruit, Add Fiber
Many cereals on the market contain bits of dried fruit, which add flavor to simple cereals. However, adding a half a cup of real, fresh fruit is still the best way to add flavor and nutrients to your child’s cereal. Cut strawberries, blueberries, sliced bananas, raspberries, blackberries or even chunks of fresh apple give a boring cereal a sweet boost without added sugars. Using fresh fruit can fit a whole daily recommended serving into your child’s diet and also boosts their fiber intake. Fruit encourages your children to eat simple cereals like Cheerios so they get a double dose of nutrients.
Turn to Dairy
As an occasional break, fill your child’s bowl with a cup of fresh mixed fruit, such as strawberries and bananas, and top with either cottage cheese or yogurt. Both will be high in protein and dairy, which your child needs to stay active. Combined with the fruit, this breakfast will have enough fiber to keep your child going until lunch.
Think Outside the Bowl
Frozen waffles are quick, easy and perfect for morning when breakfast has to be eaten on the run. Skip the processed waffles and stick to trusted healthy brands like Kashi. Get whole grain or oat based waffles and top with a tablespoon of low-fat peanut butter. The combination of fiber and protein is a perfect metabolism booster before school. Folding a peanut buttered waffle in half and wrapping it in a paper towel makes it car friendly too.
Warm Comfort Food
Oatmeal is a fall and winter favorite, but most of the processed flavors available have added sugars and preservatives. Instead of getting a processed apple and cinnamon flavor with tiny pieces of dried apples, opt for the basic microwave oatmeal pouch. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon, a small dollop of honey and a half cup of diced, fresh apples and or raisins. The honey is a better sugar use than processed sugars and will jump start your child’s metabolism. (Bonus: Using locally gathered honey can also boost your child’s immunity to local allergens.) Oatmeal is a healthier alternative to quick-cook grits. Also, most traditions use lots of sugar, butter or meat grease in grits which is a double-whammy. For more flavor ideas, mimic the top selling processed flavors. Try diced peaches or strawberries in your child’s oatmeal to discover what they like.