More and more, schools across the country are hiring registered dietitians (i.e. nutrition experts) to support and create healthy options in the schools, provide interactive nutrition education and encouragement in the cafeterias and classrooms and support wellness programs in schools. I’m proud to say that I am now a part of that trend.
After a lot of thought, I decided to make the change from being a supermarket dietitian – where I’ve been the last 6 years – to a registered dietitian working for Austin (MN) Public Schools. I love new challenges. I love learning something new! (Strength Finder 2.0 revealed this.) This opportunity presented itself at the perfect time. (I believe God had a hand in that!) I am excited to focus my energy on kids in our community. And with my new schedule and focus, I believe I will be a better mom to the two most important kids in my life.
Change is never easy. And it can be anxiety-provoking. But here’s a great tip I received from a friend: Write down all the reasons why you want to make the change and refer to it when those crazy thoughts appear. Clarity provided.
I’m learning a lot as this is the beginning of my third week in my new role (I’m literally going back-to-school!). And I’m reminded of all the reasons I need to eat breakfast to boost my learning and of course, this is a great reminder to make sure our kids eat breakfast before school too.
• Breakfast boosts brain power. Research shows that kids who eat a morning meal have better memory, attention and behavior; and score higher on tests. Check out this full report: The Wellness Impact.
• Breakfast leads to better nutrition. Children who skip it don’t typically make up the nutrients they miss at other meals throughout the day. In fact, numerous studies suggest children and adolescents skip breakfast more than any other meal of the day. For some, skipping breakfast means going 15-17 hours without food. Check out my grab-and-go breakfast basket.
The best food groups for breakfast: Dairy, whole grains, and fruit. Dairy is essential because:
• Dairy and breakfast go hand in hand. With so many types of milk, chees and yogurt available, it’s easy to find breakfast combinations for everyone to enjoy.
• Dairy is a must for breakfast. It delivers a unique package of nine essential nutrients in a variety of tasty options. Dairy boosts protein in breakfast making us feel fuller longer too.
Many schools offer grab-and-go breakfast options as kids are getting to school. If mornings are crazy at home, take advantage of school breakfast. It’s healthy and will fuel your child’s day of learning.
Egg and Mozzarella Breakfast Pizza
- 1 whole wheat English muffin
- 2 mushrooms, sliced
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons diced green or red bell pepper
- 2 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- dash oregano or Italian seasoning
- 4 teaspoons pizza sauce
- ½ cup shredded low-moisture, part-skim Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven broiler to low.
- Split English muffin in half and toast; set aside.
- Heat small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring continuously for two minutes or until vegetables are softened. Stir in eggs, black pepper and oregano into vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring continuously until eggs are set, about two minutes.
- Spread 2 teaspoons of pizza sauce onto each English muffin half. Spoon a quarter of the egg mixture over pizza sauce and top with a quarter of the cheese. Spoon the remaining egg mixture and cheese evenly on top of the muffins. Place the muffins on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.