(Family Features) As the weather cools down and routines ramp up, parents know it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the whole family on track. While most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many don’t realize that protein in the morning is key to starting the day off right.
A protein-rich breakfast including milk can help energize your morning. Plus, protein at breakfast can help you feel full and satisfied, so you won’t feel hungry by mid-morning, which helps the whole family tackle work, errands, school, extracurricular activities or whatever else the day has in store.
One easy way to increase your family’s protein intake at breakfast is to simply add a glass of milk. Each 8-ounce serving has nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality, natural protein. If mornings in your household are chaotic, plan ahead by making protein-rich breakfasts the night before that are easy to pair with milk, ensuring that the whole family can get out the door on time and fed in the morning.
“As a mom and a pediatrician, I’m focused on what I feed my kids each day,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author. “Milk is a simple, nutritious way to make sure they get high-quality protein at each meal, plus other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and more.”
When thinking about the week ahead, consider tasty, protein-rich recipes the whole family will love that can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go – like these PB and J Protein Power Muffins. For more recipe ideas and morning inspiration, visit milklife.com/morningprotein.
PB and J Protein Power Muffins
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 3/4 cups milk, divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed according to package directions
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and 1 cup milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and milk is absorbed.
- In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in cooked quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups.
- Drop 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into center of each muffin tin on top of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 8 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 91 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 520 mg sodium; 517 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT, Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity. 2011;19:2019-2025.
Leidy HJ,Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;101:798-803.