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Low-Calorie & Low-Carb Healthy Breakfasts

by Meg Jernigan

If you are trying to change your family's menu to something healthier, teach your kids about low-calorie and low-carb eating. Some carbohydrates are healthier than others. Processed foods made with white sugar and refined flour fall into the unhealthy category. Fruits, most vegetables and whole grains have carbohydrates, but they provide minerals, fiber and vitamins. Get your family involved in choosing a combination of fresh foods and grains to create a naturally low-calorie, low-carbohydrate breakfast.

Fruit

Fresh fruit is high in good carbohydrates and fiber, a necessary dietary ingredient for intestinal health. Canned or jarred fruits packed in syrup are high in calories, so set a bowl of fresh fruit on the table instead of opening a jar. Cut up fruit to serve with whole-grain cereal or mix it with light yogurt. Make a berry parfait by layering fruit or cottage cheese in a fancy glass or make broiled grapefruit dusted with cinnamon for a more elegant breakfast.

Eggs

Eggs are a naturally low-carbohydrate choice. If your family loves eggs, prepare low-calorie dishes by making poached eggs or hard-boiling them. All of the cholesterol in eggs is stored in the yolk. If you're concerned about cholesterol, buy egg products that only contain egg whites. They're usually stored in cartons in the egg department of the supermarket. Add a minimal number of calories to the eggs by cooking them in a nonstick pan, or baking individual servings in ramekins. Use a little cooking spray to keep the eggs from sticking. Since they won't get flavor from the butter, add a tasty note with dry ranch seasoning mix before you scramble the eggs.

Beverages

Milk contains healthy carbohydrates and is important to your children's diet. Choose skim milk to cut down on calories. Coffee and tea have no carbohydrates or calories, but if you're concerned about caffeine, brew herbal or decaffeinated teas. Make a very low-calorie breakfast drink that's full of good carbohydrates by combining sparkling water and cut-up melon or berries. Blend the drink until it's smooth. An orange has twice as much fiber and half as much sugar as a glass of orange juice, so invest in a juicer or buy juices with no added sugar.

Breads and Cereals

If your kids like hot cereal in the morning, choose oatmeal or steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats may be in the baking department of the supermarket rather than the cereal aisle. Cold cereals made with whole grains have healthy carbohydrates. Read labels and choose a cereal with a whole grain like whole wheat, brown rice or whole rye listed as the first ingredient. Barley, bulgur and millet are good sources of fiber and are best served hot. Look for whole-grain bread, muffins and bagels to serve with breakfast.

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

Photo Credits

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