Can you believe it is already August? I hope you all are enjoying the last few weeks of summer!

School is right around the corner, so while you are shopping for backpacks, notebooks, and pencils, make sure that you think about a healthy start to your child’s day. Starting your child’s day with a nutritious and hearty breakfast is important, although it is not always feasible due to the time crunch the morning can bring. Sometimes your child will be scarfing down a bowl of cereal before running out of the door.

I encourage a balanced breakfast including a fat, protein, and carb, such as scrambled eggs, peanut butter on whole grain toast, and complete with a glass of milk. But if you are crunched for time and need something quick, cereal may be one of your few quick and satisfying options. I have included some tips for choosing a healthier cereal.

Choose whole grain. Check the ingredient list and make sure the word “whole” is listed right before the grain, such as “whole grain oats” or “whole grain wheat.”

Check serving size. Slow down when pouring your bowl of cereal before the entire bowl fills up. Check the serving size as it will likely be a lot smaller than you would think. Some cereals may be only 1/2 cup while others are 1 cup.

Limit added sugars. Many cereals have over 10 grams of sugar per serving with much of this sugar being added sugar. Opt for lower sugar options that have 1 or 2 grams of sugar per serving. You can naturally sweeten cereal up by using fruit, honey, vanilla, or cinnamon.

Look for high fiber. Look for cereals with 4 grams of fiber or more per serving. Fiber will help keep you fuller longer to hold you over until your next snack or meal.

I have included a breakfast recipe that can be prepped the night before since we all know how rushed mornings can be. Enjoy!

Emily McMillan is a registered dietitian for Hy-Vee stores in Rochester. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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