It’s that time of year again. Summer is over and schools all across the country are about to start their fall semesters. Gone are the lazy summer mornings where kids (and parents!) could sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. My son started school this week so we are back to getting up early enough for him to eat a healthy breakfast before school. My son is a slow eater… especially when he’s still sleepy. This means our alarm is set very early so we don’t run out of time for him to get the nutritious breakfast he needs to stay energized and mentally sharp for school.
Like any mom, I want to make sure I’m giving him the right foods in the morning. According to NPR, a better breakfast can boost a child’s brainpower. So we shy away from sugary cereals, pastries and pancakes. Those are reserved for special treats and weekends. Instead we make sure there is a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables. It isn’t always easy and sometimes there are morning battles. But overall, we’ve established some good habits we hope to continue throughout our son’s school career.
But are we giving him the best possible breakfast foods? We did some research and according to many scientific studies and interesting articles there are certain foods that will help your child stay alert and boost his brain power during school. To see 8 of the best brain-boosting foods you should be including in your child’s breakfast, simply check out the following slideshow:
Water 1 of 8We all know that hydration is key. Many kids don't drink enough water throughout the day. Start their day on the right path with a big glass of water. After all, they have been asleep and devoid of water for 8-10 hours. To avoid dehydration, encourage them to drink a lot of water during the day. If your kids don't like water, add just a little bit of juice or lemonade to a large water bottle filled with iced water.
Make homemade flavored water
Eggs 2 of 8Eggs help our memories according to Prevention magazine. The vitamin choline helps our bodies produce more memory cells throughout childhood. Eggs are also a great source of lean protein and will help curb hunger in the morning. Need more ideas?
Make 8 new baked egg recipes
Berries 3 of 8Prevention suggests eating strawberries and blueberries, two foods high in antioxidants which helps to prevent oxidative stress on brain function. Sprinkle the berries in yogurt or put them in their lunch bag as a light snack.
Make blueberry green kiwi smoothie
Yogurt 4 of 8Yogurt has calcium, protein and the amino acid Tyrosine, which according to Livestrong.comcan help improve memory and alertness. And AskDrSears.com claims yogurt also helps boost the immune system to help fight off those pesky school illnesses. Make sure to steer clear of sugary yogurt toppings and drinks.
Make breakfast fruit and yogurt parfait
Oatmeal 5 of 8Skip sugary cereals in the morning. Livestrong.com suggests opting for oatmeal instead. The healthy fiber will help your kids stay full and energized throughout the day. However, watch out for instant oatmeal packs loaded with sugar. If you want to add sweetness, drizzle a bit of honey, agave nectar or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Toss some berries on top for some extra brain-boosting punch!
Make blueberry lemon baked oatmeal
Milk 6 of 8Milk is a great source of vitamins A, D, B12 and calcium. And US News and World Report says our kids should be drinking more milk. There is much debate about whether your child should drink whole milk, low fat or skim. If fat or cholesterol is a concern, then opt for lower fat milk.
Make cereal go from drab to fab
Spinach 7 of 8So this isn't an easy one to get your kids excited about. If you can't get your kids to eat the spinach, toss it into a healthy smoothie in the morning. According to CNN spinach is rich in folate, vitamin E and vitamin K to help build brain cells and reduce cognitive decline.
Make morning veggie bites
Whole Wheat Bread 8 of 8