It’s hard to believe it is time to get ready for fall and plan a new back to school routine. While adjusting to the new morning schedule don’t forget the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Multiple scientific studies demonstrate the cognitive benefits of eating breakfast, such as improved memory recall time, improved grades and higher test scores1, 2. It’s essential to remind clients that not only should they and their families be eating breakfast but it should be balanced and provide a quality source of protein for sustained energy. Eggs are the perfect choice for breakfast. The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy because it does not cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels, which can lead to a rebound effect of energy “crash” as blood sugar levels drop3.
Kids know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In one study, a majority of children surveyed agreed that eating breakfast helped them pay attention and stay energized throughout the day4. Eggs are a great breakfast option for kids, they satisfy children’s finicky taste buds and are quick and easy to prepare, often taking less time to cook than people think. The American Egg Board recently released a Back to School Breakfast tool kit that can be useful in educating patients on the importance of fueling up the kids for a day of learning. The kit also provides quick and healthy recipe ideas. To spark kid’s interest in breakfast, serve them this fun play on an egg sandwich for a filling nutritious breakfast, and don’t forget to pair eggs with the company they deserve: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
We wanted to share this fun breakfast treat today, since it is Friday. There is nothing wrong with having the occasional treat because, as often promoted on Nutrition Unscrambled, variety and overall diet are most important for health. If the kids like this recipe so well that it becomes a typical breakfast, you can easily make some modifications. Add favorite veggies to boost vitamins and minerals and consider using a whole wheat tortilla or flatbread. Also, you can choose other lean proteins and lower-fat cheese for the recipe.
Egg, Sausage, & Cheese Breakfast Puzzle
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45-75 seconds
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. fully-cooked breakfast sausage crumbles or 1 fully-cooked breakfast sausage link or patty, chopped
2 Tbsp. finely shredded Cheddar cheese
1 thin flatbread or tortilla
Step 1: Beat egg and milk in 2-cup cereal bowl until blended. ADD sausage
Step 2: Microwave on high 30 seconds; push cooked edges toward center. Microwave until egg is almost set, about 15 to 45 seconds longer
Step 3: Top with cheese. Place on flatbread and fold over. Cut out center of sandwich, using a 2 to 2 ½ inch cookie cutter. Cut remaining sandwich into 4 or 5 pieces. Solve the puzzle and enjoy!
Excellent Source: Protein, Folate and Choline
Good Source: Vitamin D, Calcium and Iron
Calories: 317; Total Fat: 18 g; Saturated fat: 7 g; Polyunsaturated fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 209 mg; Sodium: 601 mg; Carbohydrates: 22 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Protein: 18 g; Vitamin A: 447 IU; Vitamin D: 44.5 IU; Folate: 105.5 mcg; Calcium: 172 mg; Iron: 2.8 mg; Choline: 153.4 mg
1) Pollitt E, et al. Fasting and cognition in well- and undernourished school children: a review of three experimental studies. AJCN 1998; 67:779S-784S.
2) Rampersaud G, et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. JADA 2005; 105:743-760.
3) Layman DK. Protein quantity and quality at levels above the RDA improves adult weight loss. JACN 2004; 23(6): 631S-636S.
4) Reddan J, et al. Children’s perceived benefits and barriers in relation to eating breakfast in schools with or without Universal School Breakfast. J Nutr Educ Behav 2002 34(1):47-52.