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6 Simple swaps for a healthier school breakfast

Suzi Milovanovic has been a mother of all kinds: stay at home mom, work from home mom, and go-the-office working mom. She blends all these perspectives in her contributions to various local and national print and online publications, tel...

Healthy trade-offs

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.

Kids eating greek yogurt

Send your kids off to school right by giving them a breakfast with simple swaps that maximize nutrition while keeping all the taste.

1Swap 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.

2Swap 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.Quick Tip

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.

3Swap 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.

4Swap 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.

5Swap 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.

6Swap 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.

100s of school lunch ideas

More food substitutions tips:

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