Partly Cloudy   41.0F  |  Forecast »

Choosing a Better Breakfast for Your Child

It really is 'the most important meal of the day,' so say 'no' to doughnuts and sugary cereals – and 'yes' to some of these healthy alternatives

Content brought to you by Excellent Schools Detroit

"Get out of the box" when it comes to what to serve your kids for breakfast, says Akua Woolbright. She should know. Woolbright, who has a Ph.D. in nutritional science, is the head of the health and wellness program at Whole Foods Market in Detroit. Maybe even more important, she's also a mom with a busy schedule – and she wants her son, age 9, to have energy for school, activities and whatever else comes his way.

"I believe in eating whole foods. My mantra is, 'Whole foods, plants strong,'" says Woolbright. When shopping for foods in general, Woolbright encourages parents to ask themselves two questions: "Does it come from nature?" and "Would my great-great-great-great-great grandmother recognize it?" With that in mind, parents can either go ahead and buy or pass on foods that don't meet that criteria.

But even if parents are trying to eat more whole foods, that doesn't necessarily mean kids will. That's why it's important to find some healthy choices that kids won't see as a sacrifice. Here are suggestions from Woolbright and some others local food experts.

Apple quesadillas

Greg Mudge, owner of Mudgie's Deli in Corktown, recommends this pick sure to please grilled cheese lovers. Cut an apple into thin slices and put them on a flour tortilla. Top the slices with shredded cheese (Mudge recommends smoked Gouda, but cheddar, Monterrey Jack and Muenster cheese work well, too). Add another tortilla on top and cook the quesadilla either in the microwave or in a skillet pan that's at medium-high heat. Slice into triangles with a pizza cutter.

Tip: Crisp, slightly tart apples like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith work best. We added some honey and black pepper for extra flavor.

Overnight oatmeal

In a large bowl, place 2 cups whole oats (not instant or quick cooking), 2 cups low-fat milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Scoop into bowls in the morning and top with chopped nuts or dried fruit to make it extra delicious, says Woolbright.

Tip: Use almond or soy milk instead of low-fat milk if kids are dairy intolerant.

Black bean scramble

Instead of eggs and cheese, Woolbright says it's better to use black beans as the base for your child's morning meal. Her son can get out black beans from the fridge (Woolbright says to look for low-sodium canned black beans) and put the beans in a whole-wheat pita, whole-wheat flour tortilla – or just eat them plain.

Tip: Look for low-sodium canned black beans.

Morning sundae

Top a healthy scoop of nonfat vanilla yogurt with sliced fruit and granola for a perfect early morning pick-me-up.

Tip: Frozen berries make an inexpensive and icy cool topping.

Banana hot dogs

Ditch the jelly and processed white bread, Woolbright advises, and use peanut butter in this sweet, satisfying surprise. Spread the peanut butter onto a whole-wheat flour tortilla and roll up with a whole, peeled banana tucked inside.

Tip: Try an alternative nut butter, like cashew or almond, for a departure from regular PB.

Too rushed to eat in the morning?

Preparation is key, says Whole Foods Market Detroit nutritionist Akua Woolbright. Here are four tips she offers:

  1. Create a shopping list for important items to have on hand for the week – like whole-wheat tortillas, bananas, etc.
  2. Schedule a regular day for grocery shopping – like Sunday afternoons or a weekday night when you aren't as busy.
  3. Do some prep work over the weekend – like make overnight oatmeal or open cans of black beans and put in the fridge for kids to self-serve.
  4. Opt for on-the-go foods – like an apple quesadilla or banana hot dog.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Popcorn Treats for Halloween

Popcorn Treats for Halloween

Get popping with these kooky recipe ideas that are perfect for All Hallows' Eve. Learn how to make a white chocolate popcorn skull, popcorn balls and more!

Popsicle Stick Spider Web Craft with Pompom Spider

Popsicle Stick Spider Web Craft with Pompom Spider

Classic DIY materials are a cinch to transform into a darling Halloween decoration! Have kids get involved with this simple project for October.

'Breaking Bad' Action Figures Pulled from Toys R Us Shelves

'Breaking Bad' Action Figures Pulled from Toys R Us Shelves

After a Florida mom petitioned on Change.org for the toy store chain to stop selling the dolls from the AMC TV show, the toy store has agreed.

Starry Nights and Snowman Fun: Winter Crafts with Olaf, More

Starry Nights and Snowman Fun: Winter Crafts with Olaf, More

Turn a white sock or marshmallows into everyone's favorite goofball from Frozen or gear up for snowy evenings with a constellation lightbox and table runner.

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Keep your kids off the couch this winter and get them active and healthy with these family-friendly fitness tips from the community program director at the Macomb Family YMCA.

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Modern flapper era mamas had plenty of progressive advice. But when it came to baby name tips, it was a mixed bag. (And especially tough for poor Lenora!)

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Slice into sweetness with these kid-friendly ideas – thanks to Betty Crocker, Taste of Home and more – that transform pizza into something oh-so-sweet!

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement