Monday,23 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1167, (3 - 9 October 2013)
Monday,23 July, 2018
Issue 1167, (3 - 9 October 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Entre Nous: Morning ceremonials

Al-Ahram Weekly

Average back-to-school mornings in many households are busy, therefore breakfast, the most important meal of the day, usually falls short. Studies have shown that a nutritious meal high in protein, low in carbohydrates and packed full of vitamins, helps kids concentrate, perform better educationally and have a productive day. However, it can be a challenge to feed the kids healthfully and get out the door in time for school.
Don’t despair, with these few easy tweaks to your morning routine, you’ll soon have your little ones literally fighting for space at the table.

Wake up earlier:
Wake your kids 15 to 20 minutes earlier and use this extra time wisely to complete most of their morning routines before getting to the table. This requires going to bed a little earlier so that no one skimps on sleep. Eventually, it will be just another normal ritual.
Get them involved in menu planning:
Before planning your family’s breakfasts, ask your kids what they’d like to see on the table. Give them some freedom to make their own choices of food.
Make it a game:
Give out points to those who finish their meals and let them accumulate towards an ultimate prize. Keep the prizes focussed on breakfast to reinforce the importance of the meal.
Surprise them with new dishes:
Spend some time together researching breakfast foods from around the world and make a list of those you’d like to try.
Stash cereal for later:
Even if you have to give up on the idea of breakfast around the table, you don’t have to give up on the idea of breakfast for good. Single-serving breakfast cereals can also be “wet” with yoghurt, a juice box or a carton of milk later on.

Many schools have a canteen that offers a range of food choices. The food your child chooses might be high in cost and energy, but low in nutrients sometimes. An alternative is a packed lunch from home, which is a great way for your child to learn about healthy food.
Try some of the following ideas for your child’s lunch box.
• Serve snacks with fun plates, napkins, cups, or straws and use fun containers.
• Make lunch colourful; cut up some carrot sticks or put in a handful of cherry tomatoes.
• Consider cutting soft fruit like strawberry and kiwi up and putting it into a small sturdy container to protect the fruit from getting squashed.
• Homemade cookies are a great snack; easy to make ahead of time, they’re filling and don’t require any extra toppings.
• Make lunch interesting by cutting their favourite bread into shapes (use cookie cutters in a variety of shapes).
• Take advantage of leftovers. Lots of things can go between bread or in pita pockets.
• Make sure there is one high-protein food that they like.
• Don’t give your kids new foods without discussing it. They will be less likely to eat new foods if they are not familiar with them.
• Wraps made with whole-wheat tortillas, containing either lean cold cuts or low fat cream cheese topped with veggie slices.
• Trail mix made with cereals, nuts, pretzels, dried fruit or raisins and a few chocolate morsels.
• Low-fat cheese spread on whole-wheat crackers.
• Baked chips or pretzels are a better choice than high-fat potato chips or cheese snacks.
• Water, milk or fruit juice are healthier than sodas. Sugary drinks are devoid of nutrition. They will take away your child’s appetite and increase the risk of obesity.
• Popcorn flavoured with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
• Cold strips of grilled chicken with mustard dip.
• Muesli bars are a fantastic lunch box snack that can give kids enough energy and fibre to carry them through the busy school day.
• Little croissant sandwiches cut into thirds, depending on the size of the croissant. They are healthy, affordable and kids absolutely love them.

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