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Start the day right with protein at breakfast

Published on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

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Hearty Oatmeal with Strawberries, Dried Cherries and Almonds

Hearty Oatmeal with Strawberries, Dried Cherries and Almonds

Family Features

Starting the day right with a good breakfast helps set the tone for your day. In fact, studies show that kids who eat breakfast have better scores on math, reading and standardized tests; are better able to pay attention; and have fewer absences and incidences of tardiness, compared to breakfast skippers. 

But is your breakfast the best it can be? 

Experts recommend 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal, and while breakfast is typically lower in protein than other meals, it's a particularly important time to include protein in your diet - to help you get the right start to your day.

In fact, when you have your protein can be just as important as how much you have, and research suggests that spreading protein intake throughout the day - rather than just at lunch or dinner - can optimize how your body uses it, and that means making sure you include enough protein at breakfast. 

A protein-packed breakfast can also help you feel "healthy full" so you stave off mid-morning cravings and can stick to healthier eating throughout the day. Help your whole family start the day right and include protein in your nutritious breakfast. 

Try these tips to maximize protein in the AM:

* Make your morning oatmeal with milk instead of water. Top with almonds for extra protein, too. 

* Include a glass of milk with your morning meal. An 8-ounce glass of milk has 8 grams of quality protein.

* Make your own smoothie and choose your favorite frozen fruit.* Grab a latte, instead of black coffee, and pair it with peanut butter toast and some fruit for a balanced meal. 

* Whip up a bowl of cottage cheese topped with fruit and honey.

* Create a breakfast BLT with a whole grain muffin, lean turkey bacon and lettuce and tomato.

Hearty Oatmeal with Strawberries, Dried Cherries and Almonds

Servings: 2

1 3/4 cups low fat or fat free milk

1 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (not instant)

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup dried cherries

2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Combine milk, oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent boiling over. Cook until thickened; divide between two serving bowls and top with strawberries, cherries, and almonds. Serve immediately.

Nutrition: 360 calories; 6 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 15 g protein; 61 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 0 mg sodium; 300 mg calcium (30% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk.

Source: MilkPEP

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