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Rise & Dine


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At SAGE, we believe that healthy meals are necessary for strong academic and athletic performance. And although we’ve got you covered at lunchtime, breakfast is the way to prepare for a successful day ahead, arguably making it the most important meal of the day.

Your Brain on Breakfast
Besides supplying your body with immediate energy, a good breakfast:

  • boosts your immune system,
  • lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels,
  • reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease,
  • reduces the risk of anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity, and
  • increases attention span, memory power, and creativity.

Breakfast is also a great time to make sure you get enough iron, a key nutrient for academic performance. Iron can be found in standard omelet add-ins like spinach and ham, breakfast burrito components like chicken and beans, and even in cold cereals. The vast majority of cereals sold in North America are enriched; in fact, a single-serving bowl of some cereals can give 50% of the average adult’s recommended daily intake.

Make it Complete!
An ideal breakfast includes a whole grain (e.g., whole-wheat toast, oatmeal, whole-grain cereal), a food with some protein and fat (e.g., yogurt, milk, cheese, peanut butter, eggs), and a piece of fruit, or four ounces of 100% fruit juice.

Do keep an eye out for added sugar, though—a single muffin or bowl of cereal can pack a whopping 25 grams of added sugar. That’s a lot, considering that the American Heart Association currently recommends children consume no more than 25 grams in a day!

Drink Up!
Try to start your morning with a glass of water, which rehydrates you and jumpstarts your entire body after a good night’s rest. While coffee and tea both contain water, their caffeine has a diuretic effect that can leave you feeling thirsty, so be sure to drink at least 8 oz. of water before that cup of joe.

Consuming caffeine in moderation can be beneficial. Coffee doesn’t just boost energy levels; it also provides polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been linked to reduced risks of Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Moderate consumption is defined as one to three cups of coffee per day. Heavy consumption isn't advised because caffeine is a mild, but addictive, stimulant. Tea is also high in antioxidants, which are linked to such outcomes as reduced risk for heart attack, cancer, and stroke. However, the most beneficial health-promoting substances in tea are a family of substances known as phytochemicals, which help protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer.

Preparation is Key
We know mornings can be crazy when you are trying to get you and kids out of the door. Any Chef will tell you that success is all about preparation, so you should meal prep for breakfast too! These make-ahead options can be stored in the fridge for a week or frozen for up to three months. Just thaw in the fridge or microwave and enjoy!

  • Muffins
  • Waffles
  • Banana bread
  • Breakfast sandwiches
  • Frittata cups

Look for recipes high in satisfying fiber and protein, but low in sugar. Ideally, no more than 20% of the total calories in a single serving should come from added sugar, which has 4 calories per gram. Add healthy sweetness with pureed veggies or plain applesauce instead!

Prep these grab and go breakfasts options to make your mornings easier.

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese sticks
  • Yogurt cups
  • Preportioned fruit
  • Granola

Change your Equipment
Are your kids too tired to eat? Are they bored with the same old breakfasts? Spice it up by changing your equipment! Get a panini maker and make some breakfast paninis, try an unusally shaped waffle iron, or have fun creating smoothies using individual sized blenders. Have your kids pick their own and show them how to use them. They may be more excited to eat their breakfast!

Don’t underestimate the power of breakfast! With a little preparation you can have a smooth morning.

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From Our Kitchen: Beet & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

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Food to Fuel Student Athletes

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