Breakfast swaps: 7 healthier go-to ideas

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they say. Yet, too often, kids eat a breakfast that is high in added sugars or added fats and low in vital nutrients that help support appropriate growth as well as steady energy thorough the school day.

When looking for a healthy, balanced breakfast, incorporate a protein source such as lean meat, low fat dairy or eggs (the whites part is the protein-rich portion of the egg). Also, incorporating whole grains and/or whole fruit into a breakfast gives the meal additional fiber and helps prevent a sugar rush followed by a crash when compared to other typical breakfast foods.

Le Bonheur Dietitian Katelyn Wolfe, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, suggests these swaps for a better balanced breakfast.

Frosted or sugary cereal – Swap with original Cheerios or plain oatmeal served with 1% or skim milk plus ½ cup fresh berries or half of a sliced banana

Waffle with butter and syrup - Try a whole grain waffle instead topped with 1 tbsp peanut butter and a side of fruit such as pear or cantaloupe

Cereal bar and yogurt tube - Opt for a cup of light Greek yogurt with crunchy whole grain cereal mixed in (such as wheat Chex, Cheerios or granola)

Sausage biscuit - English muffin sandwich made with one egg and one slice of reduced fat cheese

Toaster pastry or Poptart - Swap for whole wheat toast spread with 1 tbsp light flavored cream cheese and served with a 4 oz cup unsweetened apple sauce

Pancake wrapped around sausage - Choose a whole grain thin bagel or mini bagel instead served with one turkey sausage patty or boiled egg plus tennis-ball size serving of fresh fruit

Honey bun or cinnamon roll - Make a breakfast wrap: roll a taco-size whole wheat tortilla filled with vanilla Greek yogurt and fresh berries plus a sprinkle of cinnamon or substitute a half whole grain bagel and top with the filling ingredients

In place of juice, serve breakfast with water or unflavored low fat milk.  A bonus to serving milk is that milk contains protein.