Start the day with a real meal

A mom’s world revolves around food, or at least the demand for it. Our culture tells us that it should be easy to feed a hungry horde by using pre-packaged food, fast food, take out, and a handful of other equally unfulfilling options. The truth is that while these might be easy options, they are unhealthy and expensive. So, what’s a busy mother to do?

Cook. Cook from scratch. I know some of you probably fainted at the thought. While Rachel Ray and Emeril might be fun to watch, few people actually practice what they see on television. But really, cooking a healthy meal doesn’t have to be complicated, take all day, or be expensive. So, where do you start? At the beginning!

Breakfasts come first. It’s the most important meal of the day. So much so, that every breakfast food provider has a quipy slogan about it. Probably the single most effective meal change you can make is to quit serving cold cereal and sugary toaster pastry-wannabes for breakfast. Alternatives are oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, eggs, muffins, fresh fruit and yogurt, or french toast. Many baked items can be made in about 20 minutes with extras frozen for other days.

I use whole wheat pastry flour in almost all of my baked goods, and the taste difference is minimal. It might require some adjustment in pickier eaters, so you can begin by substituting half the white flour for whole wheat, then three-fourths, then all of it. Otherwise, I use regular recipes and keep the remaining ingredients the same. Many people substitute applesauce for sweeteners and/or oil. Honey and maple syrup are also good natural sweeteners.

A healthy breakfast requires a protein kick. Eggs, bacon, sausage, and milk are just a few sides that kick it up a notch. I have an anti-egg child, so I hide her eggs in the battered french toast, which I serve with fresh fruit. I also make old fashioned oatmeal, not the instant kind, and add fresh blueberries and ground flax seed. This is my picky anti-egg child’s favorite breakfast, next to donuts which only make it to our table about twice a year.

I encourage you to do whatever it takes to make this one change in your family’s diet and see the difference it makes.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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