Back to School Breakfasts & My Television Debut

So last week.... I was on TV... and I survived it.

Our local news station Fox 8 does a segment called the Fox 8 House Call as a partnership with our local hospital system, Cone Health. I moonlight at Cone Health's outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center one day a week, so as part of my work there, my manager asked me if I could pay my dues as the other dietitians have by participating in the House Call segment for Healthy School Year: Food and Nutrients for Brain Power. Everyone at Fox 8 was amazing, I am grateful for the experience, and most of all, I am grateful that I didn't do anything horribly embarrassing. If you would like to see it, here it is.

I would like to say though, if there ever is a time that I will be invited on TV again, I will make sure that my hair is not covering my face - it was like I was doing my best Cousin It impression from the Adams Family.

If anyone did watch the Food and Nutrients for Brain Power segment, I hope that the biggest take away is to eat breakfast in the morning, every morning, and that breakfast should include good quality protein and carbohydrate sources. And fellow adults and parents, this really goes for us too. There are oodles of studies that show that we are more alert, focus better, and have more energy when we start by eating breakfast in the morning. And despite the random short-term study that likes to say the contrary, the larger body of evidence supports breakfast eating for weight management. And quite frankly - even though there are a lot of studies that say eating breakfast is a good thing for us and for our kids - I don't need the studies to know that eating breakfast is good. Our bodies get energy from food. When we wake in the morning after fasting all night (conserving energy) - we need to put energy into our bodies to break the fasting mode and to change the way our bodies start using energy. 

We need energy to have energy.

So what should our breakfast look like? Good quality protein sources, things like eggs, chicken or turkey sausage, soy - tofu or tempeh, nuts and nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew), or greek yogurt. And good quality carbohydrate sources, things like fruit, whole wheat toast, english muffins, waffles or pancakes, beans, oatmeal, or low sugar whole grain cereal. This winning combination is important because our body gets energy from the carbohydrate source and when we combine it with a protein source, it makes the energy from the carbohydrate source last longer.

Protein + Carbohydrate = longer lasting energy = we are rockstars in the morning

Ideas for quick and easy breakfasts as you are trying to get out the door for school and work? Boil eggs on Sunday, peel them and put them in a tuperware in the fridge - they are typically good for 3-4 days. Grab an egg or two in the morning and eat them with fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast or a bowl of whole grain cereal. Or try rolled oats made with water or milk in the microwave, stir in lots of cinnamon and top with sliced almonds or walnuts and have it with berries on top or a piece of fruit on the side, or swirl in a tablespoon of peanut butter and sweeten with a few melty chocolate chips! A cup of plain greek yogurt topped with nuts and thawed frozen berries and a drizzle of honey (if you need it) is quick and delicious too!  All of the protein and carbohydrate sources I mentioned above can be mixed and matched to make a quick breakfast. 

For more quick morning-of or make ahead breakfast ideas, you can check out this smoothie, this make ahead egg muffin, this make ahead oatmeal, or this make ahead whole wheat pancake mix.

Parents, if your child eats breakfast at school as part of the school breakfast program, if you haven't already, talk to them about it and find out if they are A. eating breakfast and B. what their options are and what are they are choosing. I say this because I work with a lot of high school students during the school year that participate in the school breakfast program and on most mornings they either A. don't eat breakfast or B. just have juice or soda for breakfast. It happens with the younger kiddos too. 

I hope that your school year and mornings start off on the right foot!