Mason County News
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Family Times
Wednesday, February 16, 2011 • Posted February 16, 2011

What are some quick, "run-out-the-door" breakfast ideas I can fix for my family?

Breakfast is an important start to the day for the entire family. Here are some quick and easy suggestions:

- whole-grain raisin toast with peanut butter

- whole-grain bagel or English muffin with fruit spread

- whole-grain ready-to-eat cereals

- low-fat yogurt (the kids’ yogurt "go-gurt" that comes in a tube is great, especially frozen- it tastes like ice cream, and in some stores they even have make it in the house brand, like HEB)

- low-fat granola or granola bars

- whole-grain toast with peanut butter or low-fat cheese

- whole-grain pancakes or waffles with fruit spread (instead of syrup)

- breakfast burrito (tortilla with scrambled egg and low-fat cheese)

- whole-grain tortilla with peanut butter wrapped around a banana

- whole-grain pitas with scrambled egg and low-fat cheese

- fresh fruit

- smoothies made with fresh fruit or frozen fruit, 100% fruit juice or milk, and yogurt

- low-fat milk and a piece of fruit

-grapes and string cheese

-make a yogurt parfait with fruit and cereal or granola in an ice cream cone and call them "breakfast cones"

-make a "breakfast banana split" with yogurt, fruit, and granola or cereal

Here are some tips on oatmeal, a great hot breakfast!

A steaming hot bowl of oatmeal provides a delicious - and healthy - start to a day. Eating oats may help protect against high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Here are three ideas to boost the nutrition further:

*Make oatmeal with calcium-rich milk instead of water. Follow the same directions given for water, just use milk instead.

*Kick the nutrition up another notch by serving oatmeal with antioxidant-rich berries, either fresh or frozen. Quickly thaw frozen berries and cool the oatmeal at same time by tossing the berries directly into each dish of hot oatmeal.

*Sprinkle oatmeal with cinnamon for sweetness and possible health benefits. Cinnamon is one of the sweeter spices and adds flavor without calories. With a dusting of cinnamon, a smaller amount or perhaps none at all of caloric sweeteners may be needed. Some research indicates as little as 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon a day may help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. It also may improve insulin function, especially in people with type 2 diabetes. Large doses, however, could be harmful. If you’re under treatment for high blood sugar, check with your healthcare provider before self-treating yourself with cinnamon as it could affect the level of medications you need.

Ever wonder about the difference between the different types of oatmeal?

*"Instant" oatmeal may have salt added to it—check the "Nutrition Facts" label if reducing dietary sodium is important for you.

*"Quick" or "quick-cooking" oatmeal will take slightly longer to cook than instant versions. It is usually made without added salt—check the "Nutrition Facts" label for sodium.

*"Old-fashioned" oats take longer to cook than instant and quick/quick-cooking oats and also are usually made without salt.

This information was adapted from several articles on the UNL Extension website @ food.unl.edu.

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