When it comes to a quick and healthy breakfast, a jar of “overnight oats” is a great option. This popular instant meal is convenient, nutritious, and delicious. You simply mix raw oats with yogurt and fruit in a jar or other container, and then refrigerate it overnight.
The benefits are plentiful.
- It’s a whole meal. One serving provides you with food from three of the five MyPlate food groups.
- It’s satisfying. The fiber in the oats and fruit makes you feel fuller longer.
- It saves time. It takes two minutes to prepare overnight oats the night before and no time at all in the morning to grab a healthy breakfast.
- It’s versatile. Overnight oats have limitless flavor possibilities. Ingredients can range from berries and chocolate to peanut butter and bananas. Your oats will never have to become boring.
- It’s a whole grain. We should eat at least three servings of whole grains daily to reduce our risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer.
To learn about more tasty ways to incorporate whole grains into your diet, visit the Extension Store.
Source: Michigan State University Extension
Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 4
- 1 cup juice-packed canned sliced peaches, drained
- 1 cup juice-packed canned sliced pears, drained
- 6 pitted prunes (cut in half)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Orange zest (optional)
- 1 cup granola (low fat)
- In a large microwave safe bowl, mix fruit, vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest. Stir mixture.
- Top with granola.
- Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes.
- Spoon into 4 bowls and serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving: 221 calories, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 60mg sodium, 50g total carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 25g sugar, 3g protein
Source: Snap-Ed Connection
Serving Size: 1 burrito | Serves: 8
1 cup diced potatoes (1 medium potato)
1/2 cup diced onions (1/2 medium onion)
1 cup diced bell peppers (1 medium pepper)
8 beaten eggs
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded 2% reduced-fat cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook the potatoes for 6 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add onions and peppers to the potatoes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the potatoes are browned.
3. Add beaten eggs to the vegetable mixture. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir off and on until there is no liquid.
4. Stir in the garlic powder and pepper.
5. Make each burrito by placing 2 tablespoons of cheese and 1/2 cup of the egg mixture on the tortilla and rolling up. Serve or freeze.
Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 190 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more recipes, information, and videos, visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/.
Serves: 6 (Serving size: 1 muffin)
• 2 cups washed vegetables, diced (e.g. broccoli, peppers, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, or spinach)
• 6 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2. Add chopped veggies to the muffin tin.
3. Beat eggs in a bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
4. Pour eggs into the muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes. To add cheese, remove the tin from the oven during the last 3 minutes of baking. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the muffins and return the tin to the oven.
5. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 160°F or a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
Meal Idea: Serve extras in tortillas or with a green salad and roll.
Nutritional information per serving
100 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 215 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 9 g protein
Source: Spend Smart Eat Smart http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/
Nutrition plays an important role in assuring your child has a successful school year. Many children do not eat breakfast every day; others grab a soda and high-fat, high sugar pastry—definitely not a “breakfast of champions” relative to cost or nutrition.
Studies have shown that those who eat a morning meal perform better in school;
- they have higher test scores,
- higher attendance,
- less tardiness,
- better concentration,
- and more muscle coordination.
Also, children who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight.
If your child doesn’t like traditional breakfast foods, don’t worry—breakfast can be most any food, even a slice of pizza. If your child claims not to be hungry, offer 100 percent juice and toast. If the school has a midmorning snack time, pack healthy snacks like yogurt, cheese stick, or bagel. Remember to use an ice pack and insulated lunch bag to keep foods at a safe temperature.
As for lunch, school meal regulations are new this year and have improved the nutritional quality of lunch. School meals have always supplied one-third of a child’s nutrition needs; however, tighter regulations mean lower fat and sodium limits and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables (including fresh). If you choose to pack your child’s lunch, let your child help plan and prepare the lunch. Include meals that are easy to prepare and fun to eat as well as nutritious. A few examples are sandwiches, raw veggies, crackers, string cheese, whole fruit, and yogurt.
Stores are advertising school supplies, new clothes, and shoes. It must be back-to-school time! To ensure your kids have a successful school year, start kids out with a healthy breakfast.
Research shows that many of us believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet more than half of all Americans do not eat breakfast every day, according to the 2009 Food and Health Survey: Consumer Attitudes toward Food, Nutrition, and Health, conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation. Are you one of those non-breakfast eaters? If so, read on to see how this morning meal boosts brainpower.
How totally cool that breakfast fuels kids’ brains for school! Research shows that children who eat breakfast:
- Show improvements on math, reading, and standardized test scores
- Pay better attention and perform better on problem-solving tasks
- Are less likely to be absent or tardy — and are more likely to behave better in school
- Consume more important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, dietary fiber, and protein
- Are less likely to be overweight
Adult breakfast skippers, take note — eating breakfast may help boost your brainpower,too. Remember, your kids are more likely to eat breakfast if you do, too. Eating breakfast together is even a better bonus — it helps instill more healthful eating habits in kids as they grow up.
Source: International Food Information Council Foundation, August 2010.
Don’t skip breakfast to save precious morning minutes! Try these lightning fast meals that can help propel you and your kids throughout the day.
The Traditional Triplet
Whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal and fat-free milk plus 100 percent orange juice
The Hot and Wholesome Bowl
Microwavable oatmeal with chopped apples and walnuts — made with fat-free milk instead of water for an extra punch of protein, calcium, and vitamin D
The PB & B
Whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter and sliced bananas plus fat-free milk
The Swirl and Go
Crunchy high fiber cereal, blueberries, and sunflower seeds swirled into low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt
The Little Dipper
Graham crackers dipped into low-fat or fat-free fruit yogurt plus 100 percent apple juice
A Little on the Lunch Side
A turkey and low-fat Swiss sandwich on whole-wheat plus 100 percent orange juice
On a Roll
A whole-wheat tortilla wrapped around a low-fat cheese stick plus a bunch of grapes (cut grapes in half for younger children)
The Waffle Tower
A toasted frozen whole-grain waffle piled high with sliced strawberries, a dollop of low-fat or fat-free yogurt, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds
Easy as Apple Pie
A toasted whole-grain bagel half layered with apple slices and reduced fat Cheddar cheese
Whole-grain cinnamon-raisin toast spread with low-fat ricotta cheese plus 100 percent orange juice
Source: International Food Information Council Foundation, Wake Up to the benefits of breakfast!
For more information about breakfast and health, visit: http://ific.org/publications/other/breakfast.cfm
- 4 eggs
- 1⁄4 cup skim milk
- 1⁄3 cup onion, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup red pepper, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup green pepper, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1⁄2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
- 2 whole wheat pita bread shells, halved
- Salsa, optional
Whisk together eggs, milk, onion, red pepper, green pepper, and mustard. Heat 10-inch skillet to medium high heat and pour egg mixture into pan. Scramble eggs until firm but still moist. Just before eggs are set, add cheese and warm until melted. Warm pita pockets in microwave for 20 seconds. Open one pita half and spoon 1⁄4 of egg mix into shell. Serve hot.
Nutrient analysis per serving
210 calories, 14 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 7 g (2.5 g saturated), 215 mg cholesterol, 330 mg sodium
Source: Iowa Egg Council