With back-to-school season looming, we all need solutions to get into the routine.
Here’s one: these soft and chewy, super-filling Cherry Cheesecake Breakfast Bars.
These easy, make-ahead bars are perfect for busy mornings. They freeze beautifully and can be grabbed to go. Microwave for only a few seconds for a warm breakfast.
A dietitian-approved breakfast is one that combines fruit (or veggies) and protein, the addition of whole grains is a bonus. So Cherry Cheesecake Breakfast Bars are pretty perfect. Here’s what they’ve got in terms of good nutrition:
- Whole grains – Oats and cereal provide heart-healthy fiber and B-vitamins.
- Fruit – Cherries and applesauce provide natural sweetness and antioxidants.
- High-quality protein – High-quality protein, like the protein in eggs, contains all the building blocks (amino acids) for muscle development.
And speaking of eggs, as a mom to four kids, I’m not sure what I’d do without eggs. The number one reason is that they are pretty much the quickest cooking protein around; and in our busy lives, quick-cooking meal solutions are key. Secondly, eggs are a complete package of lots of nutrients my kids don’t get from other foods.
As a mom and a dietitian, here’s why I love eggs:
- Lutein and zeaxanthin – These antioxidants may reduce the risk of eye problems (like macular degeneration) later on as my kids get older. So getting kids in the habit of eating eggs now means they will probably eat them as they and their eyes age. Plus, emerging research now highlights the role these antioxidants play in cognition and academic performance (read more here)!
- Vitamin D – Kids need this for bone strength and a healthy immune system.
- Choline – Researchers have shown that adequate choline is very important for babies’ memory and brain function. While my youngest ‘baby’ is 4 years old, I believe choline has effects on brains of all ages, including those who are 7, 9 and 11 years old.
- Satisfying protein and fat – Not only does one large egg contain 6 grams of protein, but it also contains some fat. This combo of protein plus fat fills kids with good nutrition that keep them from being hungry (and ‘hangry’) and crabby!
Here’s how my kids and I enjoy these soft and satisfying homemade granola bars:
Grab-and-go breakfast: 1 Strawberry Cheesecake Baked Granola Bar + 1 hardboiled egg or glass of milk
For portable after-school snacks: 1 Strawberry Cheesecake Baked Granola Bar + 1 box raisins
Serena Ball, MS, RD is a food writer and registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tricks to help families find healthy kitchen hacks and shortcuts. Follow her @TspCurry on Twitter and Snapchat.