August 16th, 2018

From Our Table: Make morning meals meaningful

By Medicine Hat News on May 8, 2018.

The morning meal, the first meal of the day, the meal that breaks your night fast or best known as “breakfast.” Yes that one, I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

Here are some really good reasons not to ignore it.

1. Studies show that people who eat breakfast have healthier weights. Breakfast helps you lose weight and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

2. People who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight.

3. Studies have proven that children who eat breakfast perform better in school then those who don’t.

5. People who eat breakfast tend to get more fibre in their diet. Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet to maintain good bowel health as well as a healthy weight and to help keep cholesterol under control.

6. Breakfast eaters are much more likely to get the 50-plus nutrients we need in balance every day.

7. People who eat breakfast tend to eat more regularly throughout the day rather then consuming the majority of their calories in the evening.

Of course the health benefits of breakfast also depend on what you are eating. Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana with a glass of milk is a much better choice then a danish with coffee. Try to choose food from at least 3 of the 4 Food Groups: Fruit and Veggies; Grain Products; Milk and Milk Products; Meat, & Fish, Poultry and Alternates.

When choosing bread for toast use multigrain or whole wheat bread with at least 2 grams of fibre per slice.

Cereal is one of the best places to start sharpening your label reading skills. Not all cereal is created the same. Take a look at the ingredient list and generally choose cereal with the least number of ingredients and one that begins with whole grains, bran or oats. Check the nutrition label for fibre, sugar and fat. Try to choose one with at least 3 grams of fibre, less then 10 grams of sugar and little or no fat.

But a healthy breakfast is not limited to just breakfast type foods such as cereal or toast. Leftovers from supper, soup, pizza — any healthy food can fit into a healthy breakfast.

One great idea is to make your own cereal that can be eaten for breakfast or as a healthy snack during the day. Mouth watering muesli smells fantastic when it’s baking and tastes even better. It’s sure to be a family favourite for that all important morning meal!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Toasted Muesli

5 cups oats

1 cup coconut

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups chopped dried fruit of choice (raisins, apricots, dates, cherries etc)

Preheat oven to 280 F. Mix first 9 ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl mix together oil, maple syrup, sea salt and vanilla. Pour this mixture in a slow, steady, thin stream over oat mixture and stir to coat evenly.

Spread mixture on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake in oven for 40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit.

Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

Delicious on its own or with milk or yogurt.

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