By Lisa Payne-Naeger
School is starting or has already started for most, and the morning routine is rushed and chaotic. Breakfast often slides through the cracks as an afterthought in trying to get everyone where they need to be, and on time. But tweaking that routine, just a little bit, by serving a healthy breakfast, can mean the difference between a successful school day and maybe a not so successful one.
Laura McAteer DC, St. Louis Functional Medicine
6702 Keaton Corporate Parkway, Suite 103
O’Fallon, MO 63368
Laura McAteer is a doctor of chiropractic and specializes in functional medicine. She focuses on life style habits her patients have that lead to disruption in their health. She looks for the root cause in health disfunction. Diet is a serious preventative to health issues people face, and she believes breakfast is the most important meal and easiest thing to change to help kids, or anyone else, concentrate and remained focused in school. A protein and fat filled breakfast is the best way to start the day, for anyone.
Fats are good, if they are the good kind of fats. Good fats, like coconut oil, olive oil are great at helping stay satiated throughout the morning or until your next meal. They also react in a better way with the body’s brain cells and central nervous system. If your child has a tendency to be a bit ADHD, try some of these tips and look for any improvements in their behavior.
Steer clear form granola bars and other fast breakfast options that are loaded with sugars, starches or are wheat or grain based. These fast options just cause a sugar spikes which leads to a crash, mid-morning while your kids are in class. Nuts and apples are also a great “on the go” snack because it also provides the sustenance, fiber and probiotics without all the bad stuff that fast food or processed snacks offer.
Here are some simple breakfast ideas for your kids which will help start their school days with a boost of nutrition.
- Half a cup of frozen organic cherries (or other berries)
- 8 oz of fermented coconut water, coconut water, or filtered water
- 3 tablespoons of collagen protein
- 1 tablespoon of sprouted nut butter
- 3 pastured egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
- Blend and serve!
3 scrambled eggs in coconut oil and berries on the side.
- Half a boiled/steamed sweet potato OR 3 tbsp butternut, acorn or kabocha squash, or one banana
- 3 pastured eggs
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, flax seeds, or sprouted nut butter
- Blend and spoon silver-dollar size dollops into skillet on medium heat with coconut oil. They cook quickly!
Sweet Potato Hash
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided, for cooking
- 2 small/med sweet potatoes chopped into small pieces (about ½ inch)
- 1 med onion, chopped
- 1 small/med bell pepper (red, orange, yellow), chopped
- ½ lb fresh bulk sausage (sugar free for Whole30**)
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes (Optional, for the sausage)
- 4 eggs
- Thinly sliced scallions for garnish
**Note – You will cook the sausage in the same pan with the onions and peppers and the potatoes separately, until the end.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (you will use it to bake the eggs into the skillet at the very end)
- Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp of the coconut oil to melt. Once sizzling, crumble the sausage into the pan, and stir while cooking to evenly brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- When sausage is about ¾ of the way done, add the onions and peppers and continue to cook and stir until the sausage is browned and the onions and peppers are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside until the potatoes are done.
- Meanwhile in a separate skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 Tbsp of coconut oil to melt. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook and stir, uncovered, until the outside begins to brown, then cover the skillet (any cover that mostly fits will do!) and continue to cook to soften the inside of the potatoes, uncovering to stir once in a while. Adjust the heat if necessary to prevent burning, and add a bit more coconut oil if necessary. This step should take about 7 minutes total, give or take.
- Once the potatoes are softened and browned, transfer them to the sausage mixture and stir to combine. Create 4 indents where you will crack each egg – then carefully crack the eggs into the spaces (I like to create a bit of space for the eggs so the yolks don’t break and the whites don’t run all over!)
- Put the entire skillet in the 400 degree oven to bake the eggs to preference, about 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the eggs by covering the skillet and cooking over medium-low heat until the eggs are done. I prefer the oven method to avoid burning the bottom of the hash, but either way should work!
- Serve hot and enjoy
Most people can prevent many current ailments with a good diet and appropriate exercise. As parents, we can set a great example for our children, especially as they go back to school, by incorporating a few simple protocols to our daily routines, starting with healthy breakfasts.