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Stocking A Healthy Kitchen For The Morning Rush

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - With some 37 million elementary school kids heading off to class, activities shift into overdrive, mornings become hectic and a good breakfast is often sacrificed.

In fact, a Gallup Poll co - sponsored by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) found that an alarming 51 percent of the 400 children surveyed did not eat breakfast. According to the ADA, recent studies show that students who eat breakfast do better on some tasks of attention and memory and are more likely to have reduced nurse visits and attend school more frequently. In addition, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to meet their daily nutritional needs, keep their weight under control and have lower blood cholesterol levels.

"It turns out Mom was right, after all," says Carolyn O'Neil, mother, registered dietitian and author of "The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!" "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's no secret that a good breakfast gives kids the energy and nutrients to fuel their brain, but eating a healthy morning meal also helps mom and dad maintain a healthy weight."

O'Neil suggests stocking the pantry and refrigerator with the following breakfast items to help get the entire family off to a good start:

  • 100 Percent, Not-From-Concentrate Orange Juice - Drinking orange juice every day helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Orange juice, such as Tropicana Pure Premium, is also a good source of the heart - healthy mineral potassium, important because neither most children nor adults get the amount of potassium they need. With calcium - fortified orange juice, drinking eight ounces of 100 percent orange juice will give you a glass of milk's worth of calcium.

  • Whole - Grain, Low-Sugar Oatmeal or Cereal - The best cereals are made with whole grains which provide fuel for energy and contain essential vitamins and minerals children need to be healthy and grow up strong. Look for products that contain the Smart Spot(tm) designation, a bright green symbol located on the front, lower right corner of packaging that helps consumers identify food and beverage choices that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

  • Breads and Grains - Preferably whole wheat or multi-grain frozen waffles are a great option for quick breakfasts. They are healthful and convenient for those hectic morning rush hours. Whole - and multi - grain foods help curb your appetite until lunchtime and are a good source of fiber and contain natural antioxidants. They also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

  • Fresh Fruit - Vary the fruits you serve your family to vary nutrient intake. Grapefruit, kiwi, mango, strawberries, blueberries, apricots, raspberries, cantaloupe and cherries are all "superfoods" - foods that pack a powerhouse punch of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients.

Even as the time spent on meal preparation, especially breakfast, drops, it's still possible to strike a winning balance. Choose healthy, easy - to - prepare breakfast items, such as calcium - fortified orange juice, an assortment of fruit and a variety of whole wheat and multi - grain bread products or whole - grain cereals to get your family off on the right foot.



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