Getting your kids up and ready to go in the morning is not an easy task -- especially if they are teenagers. Although research shows that kids who eat a healthy breakfast do better in school, your children may still balk at eating anything while still half asleep. Wake them up and entice them with a healthy breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a big part of a good breakfast. They give your body energy, but they are only as good as the source. Simple carbohydrates are found in foods that contain refined white flour and lots of sugar. Stay away from breakfast foods that contain refined carbohydrates, as they will only give your children a temporary sugar high, which will quickly plummet and leave them feeling listless and drained later in the morning. Foods to avoid include white bread, sugary muffins, pastries and sweetened cereals.
Complex carbohydrates are much healthier than refined carbs. These carbohydrates are found in fruits, whole grains and vegetables -- although your children might balk at a bowl full of peas for breakfast. Instead, work these good carbs into the menu in a more secretive and tasty manner. Serve whole grain or whole wheat English muffins with peanut butter for added protein. Or whip up a filling omelet made with colorful bell peppers and turkey sausage. A fruit smoothie made with bananas, plain yogurt, strawberries and a dash of orange juice is not only packed with complex carbohydrates and protein, but it is also quick and easy to make -- perfect for your late-sleeping teenager.
A healthy breakfast includes more than just complex carbohydrates. Fiber, protein and calcium for strong bones are all important parts of a healthy breakfast. Start with a protein, such as peanut butter, turkey sausage or bacon, or plain vanilla yogurt. Then add some fiber. Oatmeal, eggs, whole-grain cereal, whole-grain or whole wheat waffles, pancakes or toast, bananas, melons and berries are all excellent sources of fiber. Finish the meal off with a tall glass of milk or orange juice, both of which contain calcium -- important for a child's growing bones.
Even the most delicious, well-balanced breakfasts are sometimes not enough to coax the pickiest eaters into eating. Get creative with your food. Make a "banana split" out of a banana and yogurt, topped with cherries. Sandwiches are a great standby for those kids who won't eat anything "different." Whole-wheat bread, peanut butter and a low-sugar fruit spread will cover your bases. The novelty of a sandwich for breakfast may be enough to get your child eating in the morning. Or make "dessert" for breakfast by layering yogurt, layers of fruit and granola.
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