The SMArt Kids are working hard on their goals. It’s been challenging to stay focused given the winter weather and the recent holidays. Yet, the SMArt Kids have not wavered, and our team here continues to be impressed by their diligence and enthusiasm. They are working on such goals as:
- Eating more fruits and veggies
- Drinking only low fat milk and water
- Engaging in at least 1 hour of active play
- Reducing screen time
- Choosing healthy snacks and breakfast options
At this month’s SMA, we highlighted the need for a healthy breakfast every day, which reflects the general consensus in the medical community. The old adage does hold true: it really is the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast perform better in school. In addition, studies have demonstrated that it can reduce weight gain. A 2008 study of teenagers revealed that those who ate breakfast had a leaner BMI than those who skipped the morning meal, because kids who eat a healthy breakfast spread their caloric intake over the course of the day and end up eating less total calories.
Linda Germaine-Miller, our SMArt Kids nutritionist, led the group in making a delicious and nutritious veggie omelet. It was great as our after-school snack, but it will be an even better choice some morning at home! Give it a try:
¼ cup egg whites
2 tsp liquid oil (olive or canola) or margarine
1 TBS grated cheese
Lots of veggies: sugar snap pea pods, cherry tomatoes, red, green or yellow peppers.
- Wash and dry your vegetables. Ask a grown up to slice the pepper in half and then in half again (use about ¼ of a pepper).
- Put your ¼ pepper on a cutting board with about 8 cherry tomatoes and a handful of sugar snap pea pods. Using a plastic knife, cut the peppers and pea pods into small pieces (about ½ inch wide) and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Set these aside for a moment.
- Crack an egg into a bowl and add in ¼ cup egg whites. Mix this well with a large fork.
- Ask a grown up to cook the eggs this way: Sauté (cook on a low flame) the vegetables in the oil for 3-4 minutes. Then add in the egg mixture and cook until it is cooked through. Right before you take it off the pan, sprinkle it with 1 TBS grated cheese.
You may eat this with a piece of wheat toast or on a wheat English muffin or sandwich thin. Have it with a glass of skim milk. Enjoy!
In our efforts to choose a healthy breakfast, we discussed the results of a report from the Environmental Working Group, a public health nonprofit organization that reviewed nutrition labels for 84 popular brands of breakfast cereals marketed toward children. Clearly, many of the popular Big Brand children’s cereal have too much sugar. The biggest offenders? Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, Post Golden Crisp, Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Marshmallow, Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch, All Berries and Crunch Berries, Quaker Oats Oh!s, Kellogg’s Apple Jacks and Kellogg’s Smorz. If you have any of these on your breakfast table, think about getting rid of them!
Instead, look for cereals that are low in sugar, high in fiber, fortified with iron, Vitamin D, Calcium and have a short ingredient list. Try plain Cheerios or Kix instead of those sugar-laden options.
The SMArt Kids had great ideas for healthy breakfast options. One of these mornings, try:
- a Fruit smoothie
- a Peanut Butter on whole-wheat toast or English muffin
- Steel Cut oatmeal
- an Egg white omelet
- Greek yogurt with nuts and fruit
Too busy for breakfast? Try making scrambled eggs and lean bacon the night before (then just reheat in the microwave), grab a banana and a slice of cheese, or fix a PBJ on wheat bread.
I look forward to hearing how the SMArt kids do this next month on their goals.
Keep up the strong and SMArt work!