Eating Breakfast When You Are on a Special Diet
Eating Breakfast When You Are on a Special Diet
Have you noticed that now, more than ever before, children and adults are developing food allergies and health problems at an alarming rate? Foods are not grown, cultivated or manufactured the way they used to be.
You know that whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” thing? Well, there’s a catch: Simply eating something for your morning meal isn’t good enough to get you going and keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
Related: Wellness: Breakfast for Champions
Laura Manning, MPH, RD, CDN, and clinical nutrition coordinator at Mount Sinai Hospital says:
“The ideal breakfast contains a whole grain carbohydrate, a protein, and fresh fruit or vegetable.” http://www.hearst.com/magazines/good-housekeeping
The worst foods to consume at any time, especially for breakfast are foods with chemicals, artificial colors and flavors, high sugars, high sodium (salt), additives and preservatives and processed ingredients. These chemicals and ingredients will give your child the worst start to their day. Look for natural, organic and chemical-free foods. Their teacher will thank you.
Fruits are great breakfast snacks to provide for your child. They are easy to grab, easy to eat on-the-go and are packed full of many important and healthy nutrients. They also do not involve any of the top 8 allergens. Granted, some people ARE allergic to some fruits, so take care with the choices that you provide.
Check out this United States Department of Agriculture page to give you important information on the benefits of eating fruits.
Here are a few examples:
The majority of fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Fruits do not have any cholesterol.
Many fruits are loaded with nutrients important to our bodies such as: potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
Fruits have a lot of fiber, which is important for proper bowel function, it helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis.
- Pears-1 medium has 5 grams of fiber
- Raspberries-1 cup has 10 grams of fiber
- Figs-dried, 2 medium have 4 grams of fiber
- Blueberries-1 cup has 4 grams of fiber
- Banana-1 has 3 grams of fiber
Many fruits, especially citrus fruits, have light levels of Vitamin C which is important for growth and the repairing of all of the body’s tissues. Vitamin C also helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Fruits high in Vitamin C
- Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons, tangerines, mandarins, grapefruit, limes
- Strawberries,Papayas, PineapplesBlackcurrants, Kiwis, Guavas, Melons, Acerola cherries
Instant oats are delicious, easy to prepare and can be nutritious. Read the labels to see if you are getting real food or not! Many oats are now gluten free. What is the difference? Oats by themselves are naturally gluten free, yet almost all oat crops are near wheat crops and there is a high incidence of cross contamination. The majority of people with gluten intolerance can only consume gluten free oats.
When reading labels, there are three important nutrients to look for: protein, fiber and whole grains (which are great for brain-power, bowel function and overall good health). Also important to notice (in a negative way, however) are sugar grams, anything artificial or words that are not real food. Keep sugar low and especially artificial colors and flavors, as they hinder attention, which is one of the most important aspects in attending school. Look at the ingredient list, which provides real food and which is full of chemicals? Which one would give your child the better start to their day? You can also just get plain instant oats, which have nothing added and add your own fruit and nuts. Many companies offer variety packs, so your child can have a different flavor each day, or they can discover which flavor they list best, then you can just buy a box of that flavor.
Eggs: (hard boil the night before), scrambled, fried
Cereal: again read the labels and avoid chemicals and preservatives, which have the opposite effect on a child’s brain for attentiveness and learning. Also look for healthy whole grains and low sugar!
Meats: choose brands with zero nitrites, zero preservatives, zero artificial ingredients and lower sodium levels, such as: Organic Prairie, Applegate, Boar’s Head, Aidells, and Wellshire Farms
Whole Grain slices with a small amount of healthy butter breads: or Earth Balance or a nut butter spread on top or melted cheese or Daiya (dairy free)
Be very careful when you buy snack bars. Many are just loaded with sugar and chemicals and offer very little nutritional value. There are many great bars on the market that have a variety of the important nutrients that your body needs. Read the labels. Here are some examples of healthy and unhealthy breakfast bars.
It is important to look at the ingredients and not buy the food that have words that you can’t pronounce, or with additives and artificial ingredients. Also, where do the fruit ingredients come in? All of these aspects of a food label are very important to give your child a good start to their school day. Fruit and whole grains and proteins should be at the top of your ingredient list.
Barrie Silberberg is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet : A Step-by- Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions. Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
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- Healthy Eating Options for Fueling Your Child
- Focus on Color
- Benefits of Fiber
- Nutrition Myths Debunked
- Clean up What You Eat
- Health & Nutrition Apps for Family Fun
- Special Diets for a Variety of Disabilities & Disorders
- GFCF/Chemical Free Holiday Breakfast or Brunch
- Cooking With Kids: Spooktacular BOO BARK Breakfast Yogurt
This post originally appeared on our September/October 2016 Magazine