Tag: breakfast

Quinoa Breakfast Pots

By: Wendy Polisi
Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS
4 cups almond milk
1 cup mixed quinoa (equal parts of white, red, and black varieties)
10 oz fresh strawberries, sliced (16-20 strawberries)
2 tbsp pistachios, slivered
honey to sweeten (I use approximately 2 tbsp.)

DIRECTIONS
1. In a small saucepan, warm the almond milk on low heat. After 2 minutes, add the quinoa and stir gently so the quinoa doesn’t clump together.
2. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through.
3. Remove from heat, and divide among bowls or jars for an easy breakfast to-go!
4. Top with the strawberries and pistachios, and drizzle the honey on top.

Original recipe can be found at http://wendypolisi.com/5-ingredient-quinoa-breakfast-pots/

Brussel Sprouts and Egg Bake or Scramble

This easy recipe can be a fast breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Make it your own by adding your favorite spices, substituting other veggies in for the brussels sprouts, or incorporating a little meat, such as turkey sausage or bacon bits. Also, this recipe can be done in a frying pan too, as a scramble.

Time: less than 30 minutes

Servings: 2

8 Ingredients

2 cups Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt
Pepper
3 eggs
Shredded cheese (optional)
Bread, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, toss sprouts with olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a baking dish and roast for about 15 minutes, until browned. Turn off oven.
  • Remove dish from oven and crack eggs over roasted brussel sprouts. Place back in still-warm oven.
  • Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs are cooked.
  • Top with cheese and enjoy with bread, if desired.

Original recipe found on http://greatist.com/eat/recipes/brussels-sprout-and-egg-scramble. Check out other delicious, healthy recipes at Greatist.com.

Wellness Wednesdays: The Best Time of Day to Eat

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day…”

“Don’t eat before bed, or you’ll have nightmares…”

There is a great deal of folklore regarding what, and when, we should eat. For many people, however, mealtimes are dictated not by hunger or habit, but by when they can find the time to eat. Long gone is the fabled ‘lunch hour’ – for most professions, workers are lucky to have 30 minutes for lunch. Even so, many feel pressure to eat at their desk to avoid being singled out as the office ‘loafer’.

Trying to keep up in the daily rat race causes many to forgo lunch altogether – perhaps they consume two larger meals rather than three, or perhaps they choose to ‘graze’ on snacks over the course of the day. But what does this mean for our food ‘culture’ – are we abandoning the ‘three square meals a day’ concept? What does ‘science’ have to say on this important issue?

Considerable research has been done to evaluate the impact of meal timing on weight gain (or loss) in humans. I’ll start by saying that in today’s culture, the majority of adults are sleep deprived. Compared to Americans in the 1950’s and 60’s, working adults today get 1.5 hours less sleep per night, with an average sleep duration of just over 6 hours. Now, it stands to reason that if you are awake for more hours each day, then you might be inclined to eat more each day as well. The proof can be found in America’s rapidly expanding collective waistline.

However, science may have an answer for us. Arguably, the specific time at which you eat your meals is less important than the window of time during which you eat. If you feel hungry in the morning, by all means, eat a hearty breakfast – just don’t end the day in the same way you started it. That is, if you start eating earlier in the day, you should stop eating earlier in the day, vice-versa.

Myself, I prefer to eat a heavier meal at night, and lighter meals during the day. That pattern of meals simply fits my current lifestyle. The hard part is figuring out what works best for you. Just know that there is no one right way – the right way is the one that works for you.

Childhood Hunger – An Issue Worth Tackling

For my last post of National Nutrition Month ® (though it likely won’t be my last post about food and nutrition), I’m highlighting a couple of great organizations in my area (Chapel Hill, NC) that I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate or volunteer with. Both organizations tackle the daunting challenge of ameliorating childhood hunger, specifically in our own North Carolina, where more than 1 in 4 children struggle with hunger.

The NC chapter of the national No Kid Hungry campaign is a public-private partnership to end childhood hungry in the state by connecting kids (and schools) to federal food and nutrition programs. Examples of these programs include the School Breakfast Program, the School Lunch Program, and summer meals programs. They hope to improve access to healthy meals for children and families who need them, strengthen the infrastructure of communities and systems, and improve knowledge about the available programs. One effort that I’m more familiar with is their campaign to get schools on boards with “alternative” breakfast models to increase participation in school breakfast. Although all schools may offer breakfast programs, those who are eligible in free and reduced price meals may not participate due to stigma and other barriers. Alternative models, such as breakfast in the classroom or grab-n-go style carts on the way to class, can help increase access to meals.

While meals in school are one great way to tackle this issue, it’s often that kids who are eligible for free and reduced meals at school often come from families who seriously struggle with food insecurity every day, including those weekends when kids are not in school to receive meals. Many communities have “weekend backpack” models in place to help kids get through the weekend with healthy food. TABLE NC is a small organization in Carrboro, NC that does just that. Kids who are referred to TABLE by school coordinators or school social workers can have their parents sign up to get bags delivered before the weekend right to their home or afterschool center.

To learn more about these fantastic programs, check out their websites and see how you can get involved if this is an issue you’d like to help find a solution to.

 

Photo credit: Saad Akhtar via Flickr.com 

How Eating School Breakfast Can Help Your Child Succeed

For millions of American families with school-aged children, buzzing alarm clocks are the starting pistols that mark the beginning of another hectic day. Parents scramble to get ready for work while shoving sleepy-eyed kids out the door to meet the school bus. ‘Breakfast’ is anything portable the kids can eat on their way to school – Pop-Tarts, an Ego Waffle, a donut. The sugar perks them up for a while, but eyelids start to droop before the second bell rings.

According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC, www.frac.org), evidence is mounting that eating a partial breakfast, or skipping the meal altogether, causes students to perform worse on a variety of cognitive tests. This research emphasizes the impact that initiatives like the School Breakfast Program (USDA, www.fns.usda.gov), which serves 13.2 million students daily, can have on a child’s ability to get the most out of their education. But there are more than 55 million school-aged children in the United States; wouldn’t they all benefit from such a program?

The answer is ‘Yes’, which is why the policy of Universal School Breakfast is currently under debate in the political arena. Eating breakfast at school improves standardized test scores for all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status. There are health benefits as well; children who eat breakfast at school consume more fruit and dairy products than their non-breakfast-eating peers.

 

You can find out more about the benefits of universal school breakfast on FRAC’s website: http://frac.org/federal-foodnutrition-programs/school-breakfast-program/