Have you had those mornings when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? You feel unwell, or you slept through your alarm, or you have an early morning meeting, leaving you with very little time to fix breakfast for the whole family. Yet, you want to send your little one off to school with a hearty and nutritious breakfast.
Here are some ideas for quick and healthy breakfasts:
Oats: Oats are a great source of dietary fibre and many important minerals like manganese, selenium, and antioxidants. Boil your oats with milk, a cinnamon stick or a couple of pods of elaichi, and slices of apple or banana stirred in. You can even load your child’s oatmeal up with dried fruits and nuts. This warm bowl of porridge will give your child the complex carbohydrates, calcium and protein (through the milk), and vitamins and minerals (through the fruits and nuts) that your child will need to power through his/her day.
Eggs: Whether omelettes, scrambled, poached, fried, or boiled, eggs have always been thought of as a breakfast food. That is because eggs are quick to cook and a rich source of protein. Protein will not only keep your child feeling full longer, it also helps your child remain focused at school and helps your child maintains a healthy immune system. Make your child’s favourite kind of eggs and pair it with some whole wheat toast or some of last night’s rotis that you have heated again.
Finger Millet (Ragi/Mandika): Finger millet/Ragi is one of those glorious super foods that is both easily available everywhere and very affordable. It is considered to be a superfood because it is a rich source of calcium, iron and protein. If your child hates sitting down and chewing through their breakfast, consider making him/her a cup of sweet milk or savoury buttermilk ragi malt. You can combine that with some fruit like a banana, apple or pieces of papaya and send your child off to school, knowing that they are full and satisfied.
Leftovers: Scan your fridge for last night’s leftovers. You can make your child a warm, toasted sandwich filled with last night’s leftover sabji. Your child will benefit from the nutritional value of the vegetable. It is healthier than jam toast or simply buttered bread.
Healthy cereals: Nowadays, there are a wide variety of breakfast cereals we can choose from in the market. Steer away from sugary cereals and sweetened corn flakes. Instead, introduce your child to wheat flakes, ragi flakes and muesli. If your child must have sweet cereal, why not add a teaspoon of honey to it when you pour the milk? Load the cereal up with pieces of fresh fruit and nuts and a glass of cold or warm milk. Most of these cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals
On school mornings, most breakfasts are rushed. So remember to make something that is easy and fast to eat. Do not compromise on nutrition in the mornings. This way, even if your child does not finish his/her snack or lunch at school, you know that your child had something filling and healthy in the morning.