Choosing a healthier breakfast means being sugar, protein aware

Choosing a healthier breakfast means being sugar, protein aware

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Being sugar aware can make all the difference for you or your child's mood and behavior. Being sugar aware can make all the difference for you or your child's mood and behavior.
Griswold says if you prefer cereal in the morning, look for one with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and 6 grams or less of sugar per serving. Griswold says if you prefer cereal in the morning, look for one with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and 6 grams or less of sugar per serving.
By TEARSA SMITH
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Do you ever experience the morning slump shortly after breakfast? Your breakfast may be failing you if you aren't making the best choices to power your morning. A trip down the aisle at any grocery store can leave you overwhelmed at all of the choices for the first meal of the day.

"Looking for things that are more nutritious and have some protein and have some fiber that are actually going to last longer through the morning to get you to lunch time are better choices in general," says Sarah Griswold, a nutritionist with the Knox County Health Department.

She says we often make breakfast mistakes despite good intentions.

"Mistakes for breakfast include high sugar cereals or even granola bars that sound healthy but are more equivalent to a candy bar as far as the sugar and nutrition content go."

Here is a quick rule of thumb to point you in the right direction. Griswold says if you prefer cereal in the morning, look for one with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and 6 grams or less of sugar per serving.

Some suggestions she makes include whole grain toast with peanut butter or a boiled egg with a banana. Both are low in sugar and high in protein.

Griswold also recommends to on-the-go eaters greek yogurt. It's a food that will help up your morning protein count. Buying it plain and dressing it up with your favorite fruit toppings is a winning combination.

The goal is to just watch the nutrition label numbers. Being sugar aware can make all the difference for you or your child's mood and behavior.

"You get that rush from the sugar but you will crash. The blood sugar will get a peak and then come tumbling down and if your blood sugar is crashing like that it is harder to pay attention, harder to focus. You're worried about being hungry instead of your next meeting or subject in school," says Griswold.

If a big country breakfast is more your speed, Griswold says you have to have a daily routine that involves movement so you can burn off the calories.

Before you reach for juice to wash it all down, think about passing or at least diluting your glass of juice with water. Tea and coffee get the all clear if you watch how much sugar you add.

Bonus info: If you are looking for other on the go breakfast options, here is one that will give you the protein to start your day.

It's called Refrigerator Oats:

  • 1/4 c. Old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. Milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Chia seeds

Combine ingredients in a 1 cup container with lid (mason jars work well). Add whichever flavors you like and keep in the refrigerator overnight. Eat chilled.

Flavor options include applesauce and cinnamon, blueberries and maple syrup, or bananas and peanut butter. Let your imagination have fun with it!

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