March is National Nutrition Month, a time to reflect on what we feed our bodies and how active we are. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrates March as National Nutrition Month yearly. “Put Your Best Fork Forward” is the theme for NNM 2017 which serves as a reminder that each one of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices.
Planning meals is the first step to feeding our bodies without too many calories, yet all the nutrients. Providing our bodies with nutrients keeps the immune system strong, reduces the risk of getting sick and helps us maintain a healthy weight. Let us talk about planning to put your best for forward for breakfast.
For most families, time pressure is the chief reason for skipping breakfast. Although we know that breakfast is important for first-rate learning at school and reduces the chance that you will grab a quick donut at the office or drive through, is it eaten at home?
We know our brain functions better, we are more patient and have much higher energy levels if we fuel our bodies before asking them to perform. Planning a breakfast includes selecting foods from the dairy, protein, and fruit, vegetable and or grain group. It is best to include three of the five groups. For instance, select milk, peanut butter and a whole grain English muffin. Alternatively, an egg, sliced tomato and whole grain roll.
Many folks trying to lose weight find eating in the morning challenging. However, saving our calories for later moments in the day may be working against our metabolism rate, the “thing” we want to boost to burn calories at a higher rate.
Here are some quick on-the-run breakfast ideas from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
Top a toaster waffle with low-fat yogurt and peach slices
Stuff a whole-wheat pita with a sliced, hard-cooked egg and low-fat shredded cheese
Spread a flour tortilla with peanut butter. Add a whole banana and roll it up
Spread low-fat cream cheese on a whole-grain toasted bagel and top with sliced strawberries
For those mornings that you have more time and you want to make special pancakes, try this recipe to flavor up your fork with bananas and strawberries and reduce the pancake syrup.
I just made these and was surprise the flavor that one banana and sliced strawberries gave the pancake. Enjoy!
Strawberry Banana Pancakes
1 1/2 cups milk ( skim or 1%)
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flour (all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 strawberries sliced
Beat eggs. Beat in milk, honey and oil. Add flours, cinnamon and baking powder. Slice bananas and add to mixture. Coat a large, non-stick frying pan or griddle with non-stick cooking spray. Warm the pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter onto the heated griddle for each pancake (adjust more or less depending on pancake size). Top with a few sliced strawberries. Cook until the tops are bubbly and the pancakes are dry around the edges. Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden on both sides. Place pancakes on a platter and keep warm. Repeat until batter has been used, using more non-stick.
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at [email protected]