5 Breakfast Recipe Ideas for Back to School

I know you have heard it a million times, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is even more important for those parents with kids, especially since school is starting. Ours starts tomorrow, and I can’t believe it! Plenty of healthy breakfast ideas exist for the whole family to enjoy so it makes it easier on everyone. Here are the 5 breakfast recipe ideas for back to school:

1. Smoothies-Who doesn’t love a fresh fruit smoothie? You can buy a huge variety of smoothies off the shelves in supermarkets, but can often be high in sugar. If you want to ensure that your kids are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need, create their favorite smoothie before school. Try my Three Ingredient Banana Smoothie.

2. Bagel, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese- Kids get bored of toast, so mix it up by offering them a bagel instead. You can get all sorts of different flavors. Try my recipe for Smoked Salmon Dip that works great as a breakfast spread.

3. Cereals-Children tend to tire of eating the same thing, so while healthy cereals such as granola are a great option, make sure you have plenty of variety. You can alternate different cereals and add fruit and/or Greek yogurt to offer something new each day. Try my Blueberry Yogurt Parfait.

4. Eggs-Eggs are a great source of protein, and my kids love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites that has a good source of protein and carbohydrates.

5. Breakfast Sandwiches- Breakfast sandwiches are a great change of pace. Create breakfast sandwiches with your kid’s favorite ingredients. Check out my recipe for Breakfast Wraps.

 

Heart-Smart Snack: No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

For those who know me well, you know that eating healthy and staying active is extremely important to me. I have been a runner since I was 16 and in love with anything related to health and nutrition since college. Over the past 20 years, my dad has had three heart attacks and open-heart surgeries, which has made me even more conscious of keeping my family fit and heart-healthy.

As you know, I’ve been working with CanolaInfo on its World Heart Day campaign and have learned a lot! For example, cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease, stroke and diseases of the blood vessels, is the number one cause of death worldwide, accounting for more than 17 million lost lives every year. In the U.S. alone, more than 81 million people (37 percent of the population) have CVD, resulting in nearly 850,000 deaths a year. Research has also shown that obese children are at a high risk for being obese as adults, which is a risk factor for CVD. There is good news though – with healthy diet and exercise, CVD can be prevented up to 80 percent of the time!

I’ve tried to teach my three children (10, 12 and 14) the importance of a healthy lifestyle through examples I’ve set and it seems to be working! As a family, we like to ride bikes, take walks, play tennis – anything active that we can do together. I also urge them to join team sports every season and we discuss the importance of making healthy food choices. I include them in meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking. I am always proud, impressed and grateful when I see them making wise decisions with healthy snacks and other foods. But kids are also, well kids, so I try to make heart-healthy foods fun like these No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars I developed for CanolaInfo’s “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection.

These easy and tasty granola bars are perfect for breakfast, a lunchbox dessert or afternoon snack. For more great kid-friendly recipes and information on living a heart-smart lifestyle, visit Canolainfo.org.

Saucepan Popcorn Recipe & Healthy Back to School Snack Ideas

Since school just started back, I am trying to start the year off right. I try to be creative and point my kids in the right direction when it comes to packing healthy lunches and providing after-school snacks that are good for them. My three children love this recipe for Saucepan Popcorn which is so easy and healthier than the other popcorn alternatives. Here are some other quick ideas for when you are in a hurry that have a nice balance of protein, fiber and carbohydrates:

Healthy Snacks Ideas for Kids:

Trail Mix

Homemade Smoothies

Homemade Granola

Healthier Banana Bread

Other Ideas:

Reduced Sodium Cottage Cheese with fruit

Whole grain crackers with cheese

Greek yogurt with honey and fruit

Apple and Skim Milk

Almond or Peanut Butter and Banana

Hummus with carrots and celery Nut Butter on graham crackers

Hard boiled eggs

Favorite Back to School Snack: Healthy Trail Mix

School starts in one week so I (and we) are trying to brace ourselves or get fired up (depends which way I look at it). I have been thinking about healthy snacks since my daughter, Leigh, takes her lunch every day and goes to cheerleading straight from school. Also, my two boys, Alec and Zachary, are ravenous when they get home from school, and this recipe really fills them up. This trail mix is a cinch. I call it a “dump and stir”. It has a got a great variety of ingredients with protein, fiber and carbohydrates. They love eating it plain, adding milk to it or even stirring it into Greek yogurt. The only problem is: I have to control myself. Once I start eating it, I cannot stop.

Kid’s Cooking Class at Park City Mountain Resort

Last week, I spent spring break in the incredibly beautiful Park City, Utah. I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a Kid’s Healthy Cooking Class at Park City Mountain Resort making Apres Ski Snacks.

The kids had a blast making four recipes starting with Mini Banana Bread Loaves made with Greek yogurt and ground flaxseed.

I loved working with the staff at the Park City Mountain Resort. They made it so easy for me even though sometimes it’s tough working back in a big resort kitchen. I was looking for a masher for our banana bread, and this is all I could find.

I do appreciate all of wonderful help from Krista, Mike and Deirdra. Y’all are the best, and I had such a great time working with you!

Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, we also made a healthy Herb Dip appetizer that the kids devoured.

They also especially loved preparing the Homemade Granola Bars. It was one of the more difficult recipes, but definitely worth it.

The kids also made homemade make-your-own pizzas. Everyone used their own unique touch. When the food came out of the oven, everyone was ready. They were happy (and hungry) to eat all of their healthy homemade snacks, especially after a long day of skiing.

Be sure to check out Park City Mountain Resort and Snowmama’s the next time you’re thinking about a wonderful family vacation. My kid’s had never skied before, and they were off and running after a day of lessons from the wonderful instructors here. We all had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back!