(Family Features) During a period when many families are spending more time at home than normal, eating healthier is likely a popular goal. One of the many aspects to focusing on better nutrition starts with a better breakfast.
To help boost you and your family’s immunity, try focusing on protein- and fiber-packed morning meals that are low in sugar. That doesn’t have to mean hours of prep in the kitchen or stocking up on uncommon ingredients.
Instead, you can start with simple recipes that call for just a handful of inclusions. Additionally, when your menu is centered around less complicated dishes, it allows an opportunity to get kids involved in the kitchen with tasks like measuring yogurt for a parfait, pouring milk in a pudding recipe or simply pulling ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.
To help start your healthy breakfast plan on the right foot, consider these tips from Dr. Jonathan Clinthorne and the experts at SimplyProtein:
Factor in fiber. When it comes to supporting immunity with nutrition, one of the underappreciated nutrients is dietary fiber. Fiber feeds gut bacteria, which helps produce numerous compounds that accelerate the development of immune cells and boost their function. The immune system performs better when people replace highly refined, low-fiber carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates.
Pick ingredients packed with protein. It’s important to consume adequate protein when looking to boost immune function as protein energy malnutrition is linked to poor immune function and can impair the ability of the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Add foods to your diet like SimplyProtein’s line of non-GMO, gluten-free bars and bites. The snacks include 11 or more grams of protein and just 0-3 grams of sugar without artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives for nutritious treats to help make busy lives simpler.
Build a balanced breakfast. People burn more energy through a process known as “diet-induced thermogenesis” when they consume high-calorie breakfasts rather than high-calorie dinners. This can ultimately help with weight loss and suggests that eating more food early in the day is better for you than eating a large amount before bedtime. For example, these recipes for Yogurt Parfait, Chia Seed Pudding and Avocado Toast provide protein and energy with simple at-home prep.
Skip the sugar. Avoid the post-lunch sleepy feeling by ditching sugar. Instead, focus on low-glycemic snacks that won’t spike blood sugar, helping to control your appetite.
Feel fuller longer. Eating immune supportive foods like vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and protein-rich snack bars can help keep you full and satisfied while avoiding less nutritious alternatives.
Easy Additions for a Balanced Breakfast
Whether your morning meal is a lavish spread for the whole family or a simple snack before logging on for a workday, these simple add-ons can add flavor without sacrificing nutrition:
- Dairy, such as milk or yogurt
- Fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more
- Quick solutions, such as SimplyProtein Cookie Bars, Crispy Bars or Crunchy Bites
- Eggs (for a time-saving solution, try using a muffin tin to create egg cups for ready-to-go breakfasts throughout the week)
- Seeds or nuts
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 avocado, halved and sliced
- 2 poached eggs
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup crushed SimplyProtein Barbecue Crunchy Bites
- Toast bread slices.
- Divide avocado slices among toast. Place one egg on each piece of toast then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Top toast with crushed crunchy bites.
- 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup assorted fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and kiwi
- 1 tablespoon shaved almonds
- 1 SimplyProtein Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar, crumbled
- shaved coconut (optional)
- In bowl, layer yogurt, fruit and shaved almonds. Top with crumbled cookie bar and shaved coconut, if desired.
Chia Seed Pudding
- 3 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 SimplyProtein Lemon Crispy Bar
- In glass jar or bowl, stir chia seeds and almond milk. Let rest 5 minutes then stir again.
- Cover pudding in refrigerator; allow to set 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Crumble lemon crispy bar and mix into pudding or cut into sticks for dipping.
(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.
Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.
To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.
The Classic Kid-Favorite
When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council
- 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup small pasta, cooked
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
- Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
- Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
- To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.
Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits
More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.
A Memorable Morning Meal
Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.
Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 teaspoon soft margarine
- 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
- In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
- Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)