A Brainy Breakfast and Other Tips for Keeping The Whole Family Healthy

How is your daily routine going? I don’t know about you, but there is always a period of adjustment once the kids head back to school. Schedules shift, time gets tight and it often feels like the endless hamster wheel. For us, it felt even more intense this year because I too was getting ready to go “back to school” and work full-time, outside of the house for the first time in almost three years.

So how has it been? Honestly, better than I anticipated, but we have made a conscious effort as a family to be a little more organized and thoughtful so that we set ourselves up for success. One of the ways we do this at our house is by making sure that we are fueling our bodies with healthy, nutritious food. Listen, it took me until my mid-thirties to realize that what I eat for breakfast has a drastic impact on how I feel (emotionally and physically) for the rest of the day… and trust me when I say I’m not the only one in our house impacted by the quality of breakfast.

What exactly is a brainy breakfast and why is it so important?

Above all other organs, the brain is most affected – for better or worse – by what you eat. Scientific studies show that children who begin the day with a brainy breakfast:

  • Made higher grades

  • Were more attentive and participated better in class

  • Were less likely to be diagnosed with A.D.D., A.D.H.D. or learning disabilities

  • Handled complex learning tasks better

  • Missed fewer school days because of illness

The main ingredients of a brainy breakfast are:

  • Protein, which perks up the brain

  • Fiber-filled carbs, which provide a steady supply of fuel

  • Omega-3 fats, which build smart brain cells

  • Minerals, such as calcium and iron, which help brain biochemistry work better

Below you will find a few of our favorite Brainy Breakfasts.

Quinoa Sweet Potato Hash

1 -2 cubed organic sweet potatoes

1/2-1 cup of frozen organic kale

2 cups of organic red or white quinoa

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2-3 teaspoons of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Prepare quinoa according to package directions and set aside. Cube sweet potatoes and saute in the pan at medium heat with cumin, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper and olive oil. Once the potatoes are soft, add the quinoa, frozen kale, and cheddar cheese and cook until combined and heated thoroughly. For added protein, you could prepare an egg however you choose and add.

Organic Oats with Dried Fruit and Nuts

1/2 cup of rolled organic oats

1 cup of whole organic milk

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar or honey

a small portion of dried or fresh fruit (raisins, blueberries, cranberries, bananas, apples, strawberries, raspberries)

a small portion of nuts (almond slices, pecans)

a small portion of coconut flakes

Directions: Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan, stir in oats and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add brown sugar or honey, dried fruit, nuts, and coconut. Alternate Preparation: Combine milk, oats, cinnamon and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes and stir, return to microwave and microwave an additional 1-2 minutes.

Green Smoothie

1 cup of frozen, organic spinach

1/2 cup of orange juice or coconut water

1/2 cup of filtered water

2 cups of frozen fruit (we like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mango, peaches)

1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of daily greens

2 scoops of Vital Protein Collagen Peptides

1/4 cup of chia seeds

Directions: Blend greens, juice, water, yogurt, daily greens, and collagen powder together, then add frozen fruit and chia seeds.

In addition to a brainy breakfast, we make sure that our kids also get their vitamins (Multivitamin, Omega 3-DHA/EPA, Vitamin D), a big glass of water and a little movement in the morning.