From The Nutritionist

Anita Shaffer, RD
Author:
Anita Shaffer, RD

Build Breakfast into Your Back to School Routine

You’ve heard the old adage many times… “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But hectic mornings (“Mom! Where is my backpack?!”) filled with competing priorities (“Hurry up- you’re going to miss the bus!”) can make it easy to skip the morning meal. Back to school time is a good time to reflect on the reasons why breakfast is so important, and remind ourselves to make breakfast a priority in our own and our family’s morning routine.

  1. Breakfast is a nutritional opportunity that gives everyone a chance to get many important vitamins and minerals, and to eat food groups most adults and kids don’t get enough of, including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Children and adolescents who eat breakfast tend to have better nutrient intakes than those who do not eat breakfast.1,2 If your child skips breakfast, it’s unlikely he or she will make up for certain nutrients later in the day, such as calcium and fiber.2,3,4 When preparing your family’s lunches in the morning, offer your children some baby carrots or sliced sweet pepper sticks as you are packing their bags.

  2. Breakfast promotes good health. Breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight.5,6,7 Kids and teens who eat breakfast have decreased risk for obesity, and less likely to become chronically obese than those who skip breakfast.1,7-12

  3. Breakfast supports school success. School age children who eat breakfast do better in school, have fewer discipline problems, and are more alert and attentive in class.13

For a good breakfast, encourage your children to eat one food from three of the food groups below. For a better breakfast, challenge them to eat one food from four groups. For a five star very best breakfast, inspire kids to eat one food from all five food groups below. Remember- breakfast can be any food you enjoy, even if it’s not traditional breakfast food. Last night’s leftovers can be part of a convenient, nutritious breakfast that provides a jump start on meeting your dietary needs for the day!

Whole Grains
(breads, cereals, crackers, tortillas)
Protein
(eggs, nuts and nut butters, seeds, lean meats)
Fruits
(fresh, frozen, canned, dried, 100% juices)
Vegetables
(baby carrots, other fresh cut veggie sticks, V8®100% Vegetable Juice, V8 V-Fusion®, or V8® Veggie Blends)
Low-Fat Dairy
(yogurt, cheese, milk)

Eating breakfast as a family is a great way to connect. But if breakfast at home isn't an option for your child, find out if breakfast is available at school. Or pack them a healthy breakfast they can eat on the bus, in the car, or when they get to school. The trail mix recipe below is my daughter’s bus stop breakfast favorite… it’s sweet and savory, a good source of protein, fiber, and iron, provides whole grains and a full serving of fruit. I hope you and your children will try it and enjoy it, too!

Best wishes for a healthy and happy new school year,

-Anita

Goldfish® Go Mix (makes 6 servings, 1 cup each)

Combine these ingredients together, and store in an air-tight container for up to one week:

3 cups Goldfish® Made with Whole Grain Cheddar baked snack
crackers
1-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
¾ cup raisins
¾ cup dried cranberries

Tips:

  • Make your mix with soy nuts, almonds, peanuts, or cashews instead of sunflower seeds.
  • Try other dried fruits like apricots, blueberries, or cherries.
  • Fix ahead, and use a 1-cup measuring cup to portion individual servings into plastic sandwich bags.
  • Enjoy with ½ cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice and 1 cup of low fat milk for a complete 5-star breakfast.

Nutrients Per Serving: 380 calories, 18g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, <5mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 24g sugar, 9g protein, 0%DV vitamin A, 2% DV vitamin C, 6% DV calcium, 15% mg iron.

References

  1. Deshmukh-Taskar et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010.
  2. Rampersaud et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005.
  3. Nicklas et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998.
  4. Morgan et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 1986.
  5. Cho et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003.
  6. Affenito et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005.
  7. Barton et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005.
  8. Alexander et al. Obesity 2009.
  9. Fiore et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006.
  10. Merten et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009.
  11. Niemeier et al. J Adol Health 2006.
  12. Timlin et al. Pediatrics 2008.
  13. Breakfast for Learning Brief. Food Research and Action Center 2014. Available online at http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/breakfastforlearning.pdf

Anita’s Bio
Anita has over 25 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Nutrition Science degree from Drexel University and completed her clinical dietetics training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Her diverse professional experience in the food service industry includes clinical nutrition practice and management, nutrition education program development, food services systems management, and recipe and menu development for healthcare and school food service operations. At Campbell, Anita is the Senior Nutritionist supporting the North American Food Service Division. She collaborates with the Campbell foodservice team to develop and promote innovative products that provide balanced nutrition for food service operators in the healthcare, school, and restaurant settings.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.