By Hallie Hopkins, Education Program Assistant, OSU Extension Service Tillamook County

We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, breakfast is very important to get our day started off right. However there are many obstacles to fitting that meal into a busy morning routine that leaves most Americans rushing out the door without it. When it comes to breakfast, a cup of coffee isn’t going to cut it!

Eating Breakfast has Benefits for both Children and Adults

  • Children who eat breakfast tend to do better in school, have fewer absences and are less likely to suffer from stomach aches and pangs mid-morning compared to their breakfast skipping counterparts. Breakfast is essential for children to grow and learn throughout the day. Having a nutritious morning meal can help with concentration, problem solving and muscle coordination.
  • But breakfast isn’t just for kids (don’t let that silly rabbit fool you). Adults too can benefit from the many perks of choosing nutritious foods in the AM. Adults who consume breakfast are more alert and focused throughout the day. Breakfast can help to kick start the metabolism and research shows that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day.

The Power of Planning

So now we know why we need to eat breakfast but the tricky part is the how! Planning doesn’t have to be as extensive or exhaustive as you might think. Planning your meals ahead can save time and money. We are also more likely to choose healthier options when we plan ahead. Planning can be as easy as preparing foods the night before or making larger batches at the beginning of the week. Planning out your breakfast for the morning is a good way to make sure that you are giving your brain the fuel it needs to get you through the day. Trying to include at least three of the food groups for each meal is an easy way to make sure you are eating a balanced diet.

Three easy tips to fit breakfast into your morning madness routine:

  • Organize your breakfast the night before
  • Keep it simple
  • Pack it to-go

Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

  • Layer yogurt, your favorite cereal, and blueberries for your own yogurt parfaits
  • Spread peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla, add banana slices and roll up for an on the go breakfast
  • The night before, add yogurt and oats in a container. The next morning add your favorite fruits for easy overnight oatmeal.

Another great recipe is Food Hero’s Veggie Quiche Muffins. These are my personal favorite breakfast go to. They can be prepared beforehand and eaten throughout the week. You can store them in the fridge or even keep them longer in the freezer. Just pop them into the microwave the morning of for a power packed breakfast. Try different variations of veggies or even individualize each cup with your family’s favorite veggie combinations.  This recipe gives you the flexibility to add your favorite veggies and also use up any extra produce in the fridge. Although eggs may have had a bad rep in the past, they are packed full of protein and give us lots of important vitamins and minerals. Including both protein and fiber into your morning routine can help you stay fuller for longer.

 

Veggie Quiche Muffins

Recipe Source:  Foodhero.org

Number of servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients: 

3⁄4 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup green onion or onion, chopped (1 medium onion)

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, diced

2 cups nonfat or 1% milk

4  eggs

1 cup baking mix (for biscuits or pancakes)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or dried leaf basil and oregano)

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray or oil 12 muffin cups.
  2. Sprinkle cheese, onions, broccoli and tomatoes in muffin cups.
  3. Place remaining ingredients in a bowl and beat until smooth. Pour egg mixture over other ingredients in muffin cups.
  4. Bake until golden brown or until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

 

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