2017-09-20 / Entertainment

Breakfast for busy days


 With the new school year upon us, it may be difficult to maintain a healthy meal schedule. Nutrition plays an important role in a successful school year for children and a productive workday for adults. Nutrition and mental alertness go hand in hand.

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet 35 to 40 percent of all Americans skip breakfast. The statistics for children are just as alarming — as many as 48 percent of girls and 32 percent of boys do not eat breakfast every day. Additionally, for many children, breakfast is a trip to a convenience store or a vending machine for a soda and a high-fat, high-sugar pastry. This is definitely not the best choice for the nutrients they need, nor is it cheap.

Children who are nutritionally fit are more likely to have the energy, stamina and self-esteem that enhance their ability to learn. But, as they run out the door with thoughts of seeing old classmates, joining new clubs, participating in school sports and getting good grades, they might not be paying much attention to the proper nutrition needed to accomplish all of this.

For children and teens, a morning meal is especially important to prepare them to meet the challenges of learning. Many studies have shown that those who eat a morning meal tend to perform better in school, score higher on tests, have higher school attendance and less tardiness, and have better concentration and muscle coordination. Also, children who eat breakfast have fewer hungerinduced stomachaches and are less likely to be overweight.

You can make breakfast fun by planning it with your child. Decide who prepares what and work together to get it done. If your child doesn’t like traditional breakfast foods, don’t worry — breakfast food can be any food they like, even a slice of pizza. Keep quickto fix foods on hand or get breakfast foods ready the night before, such as mixing a pitcher of juice.

If children say they’re not hungry, start them out with something light like juice or toast, and send them off with a nutritious mid-morning snack such as yogurt, cheese or a bagel.

Some children believe skipping breakfast may help them lose weight, but just the opposite is true. Skipping meals often leads to overeating later in the day. Getting too hungry can lead to a lack of control and the inability to determine when you are full. This can result in consuming more calories than if you had eaten a good breakfast.

Good nutrition is crucial for social, emotional and psychological development. Teaching children how to eat healthy will enable them to establish a foundation of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

This easy, make-ahead recipe for peanut butter and jelly scones can be a quick breakfast along with a cup of milk or a smoothie, a lunchtime treat or an after-school snack. It’s also a fun way to teach your children basic baking skills!

1-1/2 cups all-purpose
1/2 cup whole-wheat
pastry flour
1/2 cup packed light
brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup natural unsalted
creamy peanut butter
1 package (5 ounces)
mixed dried berries (about
1 cup)
3/4 cup fat-free vanilla
Greek yogurt
1 large egg

1. Heat oven to 400 F.
Line a heavy baking sheet
with parchment paper.

2. Combine the flours,
brown sugar, baking soda,
cream of tartar, cinnamon
and salt in a food processor.
Pulse to combine.
3. Add the peanut butter
by spoonfuls to the flour
mixture. Pulse until the
mixture is combined and
looks like sand. Transfer to
a mixing bowl and stir in the
4. Stir the yogurt and egg
together in a small bowl and
add to the flour mixture.
Stir with a spoon until combined. Use your hands, if
necessary, to ensure that all
of the flour is incorporated.
5. Transfer dough to a
lightly floured work surface
and gently pat into a circle
about 1 inch thick. Cut the
dough into 8 equal wedges.
Arrange wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 15
minutes, or until lightly
browned. Let cool slightly
and serve warm. Makes 8
TIP: Scones can be frozen and then reheated by
wrapping them in a damp,
food-safe paper towel, and
heating on DEFROST in the
microwave for 45 seconds.
Angela Shelf Medearis
is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of
seven cookbooks. Her new
cookbook is “The Kitchen
Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

©2017 King Features Synd.
and Angela Shelf Medearis

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