For the past two weeks, the Eco Women have been talking about how to get your children geared up for school. But what about fueling their young bodies? What’s the best thing to feed your junior eco warriors?
As any pediatrician will tell you, skipping breakfast is not an option if you want your child to be healthy. All humans need food for fuel in the morning and growing children really need their nutrients to get their day started. Foods that provide a good balance of protein, fruits, and healthy grains and not too much sugar or saturated fats are the way to go. You also want to make sure your child starts the day well hydrated — a glass of milk, juice, a smoothie, or even water are all good options.
Here in Recycla’s house, one daughter is a morning person who likes a big breakfast before school, while the other one would prefer to sleep in and then skip breakfast, so their preferred breakfasts differ greatly. The girls are middle schoolers, so they’re old enough to help in the kitchen, including making their own breakfast. Recycla keeps the pantry and fridge stocked with a variety of options that are quick and easy to prepare on busy weekday mornings.
- Whole wheat toast, topped with a little organic peanut butter or topped with a little jam.
- Oatmeal made with milk. Note, those little packets of flavored instant oatmeal are high in sugar and contain plenty of yucky ingredients. See the link for more information on how easy it is to make your own tasty oatmeal.
- Whole wheat pancakes – They freeze well and defrost quickly, so hot pancakes for breakfast are fast and easy.
- Cereal – Stay away from the conventional stuff, as it contains genetically modified grains and high fructose corn syrup, plus most of those cereals are high in sugar and low in nutritional value. Instead, buy organic cereals that not only have better ingredients, but often also give part of their revenues to environmental non-profits. Even better, it’s super easy to make your own cereal and granola and you’ll save a lot of money in the long run.
- Eggs – Scrambled eggs take almost no time to whip up.
- Muffins – While it’s true that some muffins are cupcakes in disguise, it is possible to find healthy recipes. Make them in advance and freeze them, then pull them out for quick and easy breakfasts.
These are just a few ideas. What you don’t see on this list is very many processed foods and definitely no “to go” foods. While the Eco Women recognize that some families are truly on the go, they are loathe to recommend any sort of packaged, processed cereal bars, toaster pastries, or (worse) stopping and buying McFood on your way to school. Not only are these foods bad for your children’s bodies, they’re bad for your family’s budget. It’s actually cheaper to eat green, than it is to eat conventionally.
Tell the Eco Women: What do you and your family like to eat for breakfast?