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Fit Breakfast Into Your Morning Routine

How to provide a quick, healthy breakfast for your children.

Nashville, Ark. – When the first bell rings, you want your child to be at their best and ready to meet the challenges of the day. That first morning is a busy time for everyone. Just because you are in a rush, doesn’t mean you need to skip the most important meal of the day, breakfast.

Why Eat Breakfast?

            What makes it the most important meal? Think about this. Your body has gone 8-10 hours without having anything to eat. Food is like fuel for your car. If your tank is empty, you are not going very far before you run out of gas. The same is true for your body. Eating the right foods in the morning gives you fuel and helps your body and mind work at maximum speed.

            According to research, children who eat breakfast showed significant gains in math scores, decreased rates of tardiness and fewer discipline problems. This is good news for parents, children, and teachers. Children, who come to school, not hungry, are alert and ready to learn.

            Getting back into the school time routine may be a challenge. They may not be hungry in the morning since they are not accustomed to getting up early. Many people choose not to eat breakfast; however, it is still recommended that you eat something light and then pack a snack for later in the morning. A light breakfast might include a piece of toast or fresh fruit.

            Here are some tips for fitting in breakfast to your busy morning routine:

  • Set your alarm for 15-20 minutes earlier. Use this extra time to prepare a quick breakfast.
  • Prepare breakfast food the night before or at least set out as many items as possible to save on time in the morning.
  • Keep quick-to-fix breakfast foods on hand that can be eaten in the car on the way to school. Granola bars, fresh fruit, cheese sticks are great choices.
  • Most schools provide breakfast to the students. Take advantage of these programs. They provide a healthy, balanced meal for your child.
  • Pack some dry cereal in a reusable, washable container for your child to snack on. Add a carton of 100% fruit juice.
  • Yogurt is a great morning breakfast food. Add fresh fruit to make it even more nutritious.
  • Spread some peanut butter on a whole-wheat tortilla and wrap it around a banana.
  • Breakfast burritos are quick to fix. Just scramble some eggs, add some cheese and salsa on a whole-wheat tortilla.

Many children enjoy cereal for breakfast. With so many choices available at the grocery store, it can get confusing on which one to choose. Select those that are made from whole grains and does not have a lot of added sugars. Look at the fiber content. A cereal that is high in fiber will help you feel full longer.

Finally, be creative! Just because it is breakfast does not mean you must eat breakfast foods. Leftovers from the night before can be substituted in place of traditional breakfast foods. Even pizza may fit into an overall healthy diet!

For more information on eating healthy, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. If you have a child in the lower grades, be on the lookout for recipe ideas and nutrition information through our SNAP-Ed program. Information is sent home with students on a regular basis. Check out the website for nutrition information or recipes. There are tons of healthy/rated recipes available.

Recipe of the Week

            Cookies for breakfast? Sure, if they are packed with nutrients. These breakfast cookies can be prepared in advance for a breakfast on the go. They are easy to make and do not heat up the kitchen. Your child can help prepare them!

  • ½ cup honey (or light corn syrup)

  • ½ cup non-fat dry milk (instant)

  • ½ cup raisins (or chopped dry fruit)

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter

  • 2 ½ cups crushed flaked cereal (cornflakes or bran flakes)

  1. Wash hands and gather items.

  2. Heat honey and peanut butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.

  3. Stir until blended.

  4. Remove from heat. Stir in dry milk.

  5. Fold in cereal and raisins.

  6. Drop by heaping Tablespoons onto waxed paper to form mounds.

  7. Cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. 

  8. Yield 12 servings.

  1. Nutrition information per serving: (2 cookies) 171 calories, 6 g fat, 58 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein


By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.