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Jog, hop or skip for health, but don’t skip breakfast

breakfast

I often hear people say that mornings always feel rushed. Even on weekends it seems like there are a million things to get done. For many, one way to save time is to skip breakfast. However, that is not a very wise choice. Even though there might be kids to drop off at school, work to get to on time and other deadlines in the morning, breakfast is important: it helps with attention span, weight control and helps replenish your body with nutrients.

While it is preferable to have a sit-down breakfast, sometimes that’s simply not an option that fits into our schedules. Many people have shared with me their strategies and food items that ensure breakfast is part of their morning routine, no matter how hurried they feel. Below are a few recommendations.

1. Set the breakfast table the night before. Give kids simple but healthy options to choose from and put non-perishable items (breakfast cereals, fruit cups, whole fruit, etc.) out on the table.

2. Pack a breakfast bag and put it in the fridge. Grab it as you walk out the door.

3. Make a smoothie the night before and put it in a to-go travel cup so it is ready to go in the morning. Shake before drinking.

4. Many kids can take advantage of their school breakfast program if one is offered.

5. Make hard-boiled eggs the night before and enjoy this protein-rich food in the morning.

6. Buy cottage cheese and mix it with fruit to start your day.

7. Yogurt is a healthy choice for the morning as it contains protein and other nutrients. Top it with fruit, nuts or granola for some crunch. To save money, buy the bigger containers instead of the single-serve sizes, although the latter is easier to take to work and eat at a later time.

8. Make a sandwich the night before and enjoy it for breakfast in the morning.

9. String cheese is convenient and portable.

10. Whole fresh fruit is also portable and enjoyable in the morning.

11. Nuts are rich in protein and contain healthy fats. A ¼ cup of nuts (if nut allergies are not an issue) can go a long way.

12. Instant oatmeal (which you can make with milk if you’d like) is quick, delicious and nutritious. Top it with nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc.

13. Granola bars (make sure they are not the “candy” type!) can help out in a pinch.

14. If you have time the night before, bake some whole wheat or bran muffins and enjoy those for breakfast.

15. Trail mix. Make this ahead of time with cereal, nuts or dried fruit.

Whatever your favorite breakfast-on-the-go items are, remember to eat it slowly and enjoy it!

About Julia Salomón MS, RD, CD

Julia is the corporate dietitian at Affinity Health System and also a nutrition educator. She works at various sites throughout the organization working with Affinity’s employee wellness program. She earned her Master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and became a dietitian shortly thereafter. Julia has worked on several nutrition projects abroad as well as domestically. Before joining Affinity Health System in June of 2011, she worked as a college dietitian and later in the school nutrition field. She has earned certificates of training in adult and childhood weight management. Julia has a special interest in nutrition, public health and wellness.

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