Calling all Non-Breakfast Eaters

If you LOVE breakfast, maybe this blog post isn’t for you. I’m going to talk to all those folks who don’t always eat breakfast ... and try to make it easier for you. 

As a Registered Dietitian, I work with people to change their health by changing their eating habits. People always confess to me what they eat and why. I don’t ask them, they just tell me. When do people start ignoring the natural hunger pangs reminding us to “break the fast” after a good night’s sleep? I have discovered that, for many, it’s all about the food itself! 

Why is it that we get to eat any “category” of food we want during the day ... except in the morning? At daybreak, for some reason, we have three choices: Cereal, Eggs, or some kind of sweet bread like pancakes, waffles, muffins, donuts, or French toast. That’s it! What if you don’t LIKE any of those? Or what if you just get BORED?

Dinner for Breakfast

  • Eat what you ENJOY for breakfast.
  • America has an obesity problem; why not save half of your dinner and eat it for breakfast?
  • Instead of eating dessert after dinner when you are already full and satisfied, save dessert for the next morning.
  • Tired of muffins? Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a giant glass of ice cold milk instead.
  • Whip up a quesadilla: shredded cheese between two corn tortillas on a paper plate that you pop in the microwave; it couldn’t be faster. Add veggies and you have a well-rounded breakfast, no pun intended. Oh yes, cut it into 8 wedges, and it travels quite nicely. 

My job right now is feeding 4,000 school kids in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Studies are conclusive: Kids who eat breakfast do dramatically better in school. In our city, we’ve gone from feeding 20% of our students at breakfast to over 60%.

Non-Traditional Breakfasts in our schools:

  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Cheese Stuffed Bread Sticks w/ Marinara            
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich                
  • Cheese & Crackers         
  • Yogurt & Fruit Parfait                                     
  • Trail Mix              
  • Pizza                                     
  • Quesadillas                        
  • Animal Crackers & Peanut Butter Dip     
  • Breakfast Burrito             
  • Nuts      

For those more traditional students, we also offer cereal. School breakfasts always come with fruit & milk. (And yes, kids love chocolate milk at breakfast. Wouldn’t you?)

So, if you are someone who does not eat breakfast right now, figure out WHY you don’t. Maybe you just need to change your options! For great breakfast recipes click here!                    

By Deborah Taylor, RD, LD, SNS

At the time of publication, Deborah S. Taylor is the associate director of child nutrition services in Oklahoma City Public Schools, where she oversees feeding healthy meals to 44,000 students. Previously, she served as the director of school nutrition services in Shawnee, Oklahoma, for more than 20 years.

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