Eating breakfast promotes proper growth and maximizes school performance. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breakfast is also important in controlling weight gain and obesity in adolescents because of the opportunity to provide the important nutrients and calories in an additional meal, as opposed to packing them all into one meal.
Send your kids off to school right by giving them a breakfast with simple swaps that maximize nutrition while keeping all the taste.
Swap for Canadian bacon
Regular bacon typically comes from the belly of a pig and is streaked with fat. Canadian-style bacon is taken from the back of the pig rather than the belly and is much leaner. For a 1-ounce serving, compare 151 calories and 12 grams of fat in regular bacon to 52 calories and 2 grams of fat in Canadian bacon.
Swap for feta cheese
A little goes a long way with feta. Its soft texture means more water content and, you guessed it, about 20 percent less saturated fat than other cheeses.
Tip: If the taste of feta is too strong for your child, try soaking it in a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 milk for about an hour.
Swap for low-fat dairy
Breakfast is a great way for kids to get a head start on the day's calcium requirements. For all the nutrients without all the fat, try swapping in low-fat milk for cereals, recipe mixes and drinks.
Swap for Greek-style yogurt
Give the new super-food, fat-free Greek-style yogurt a try. It has the same number of calories as regular yogurt, but twice the protein and half the carbs.
Swap for whole grains
Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel. Refined grains, as in the flour used to make white bread, have had the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ processed out, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This means that refined grain is not as rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc.
Swap for fresh fruit
Try topping your cereal, pancakes and waffles with fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are in the spotlight due to their antioxidant power, but don't forget about their fiber bonus. Berries happen to yield one of the best fiber-per-calorie bargains on the planet.
Starting their day off right is easy with these simple food substitutions.
More food substitutions tips: