We are a breakfast loving family. We have even been known to enjoy breakfast foods at other times of the day, omelettes for lunch, eggs Benedict for supper, and of course pancakes are good anytime! We also have some special family brunch memories , including Sunday brunch at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg and at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney. Most days however, breakfast isn't that exciting.
A healthy Breakfast is important. It's a great start to the day and my "house rule" is that breakfast has to include protein. There are lots of studies that have shown how important it is for kids to eat a morning meal containing protein. They can concentrate better, score higher on tests and anyone who eats a healthy breakfast is more likely to eat less calories later in the day.
A few years ago we had four kids in the house and so mornings were busy with breakfast, making school lunches, and last minute homework. Throw in a few early morning extracurricular activities and some days I needed a nap by 9:00 am. These days the house is much quieter with only one child left in high school. The question is still the same though, what to have for breakfast? Some days you're not in the mood for eggs and there is no time for French toast or pancakes so porridge makes a nice change.
Five healthy ingredients to kick-start your morning:
- Oatmeal is the original super food. It has a low glycemic index, giving a slow release of energy which helps you to stay full all morning. Among many health benefits, it helps to lower cholesterol.
- Flax Seeds are considered to be one of the world's healthiest foods. They are very high in omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of fibre.
- Hemp Hearts have a slightly nutty flavour and are high in protein with 5 grams per tablespoon.
- Apples are a great source of fiber, antioxidants and bioflavonoids and may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- Cinnamon is one of the top spices for health benefits. It is known to lower blood sugar levels which helps to reduce disease causing inflammation.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- 1 cup old fashioned, gluten free oatmeal
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 large (or 2 small) mackintosh Apple, peeled and shredded
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (optional)
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts
- 3 Tbsp. ground flax