It's been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. The 8-10 hours that we spend sleeping is the longest duration to go without eating, and when we wake up, our bodies are in need of sustenance.

This is particularly important for children, whose developing minds and bodies need proper nutrition to grow. Once they are out of bed and off to school, they won't get a chance to eat a substantial meal until lunchtime, 4-5 hours later. How can they be expected to perform at an optimal level with no food in their stomach?

We as parents must therefore make sure that our children are well fed when they begin their day. The question is, what should we feed them, and more importantly, how we do we accomplish it? In an ideal world, we would have all the time in the world to whip up a nutritious breakfast that our family could leisurely eat together, but in the hectic world that we live in, that's probably not going to happen.

Nutrition experts recommend serving your kids a breakfast high in protein (5 grams) and fiber (5 grams of whole grains or fresh fruit) which will provide a more sustained level of energy over time and make them feel more satisfied. One of the best breakfast foods to help parents accomplish this are eggs, and as it turns out, scrambled eggs are easy to make in the microwave. In fact, two of my favorite breakfast foods, bacon and eggs, are a snap to make in a microwave.

While I would not recommend eating bacon and eggs every day, eating eggs in moderation should not, in most cases, be a problem, especially for active and growing children. Plus, eggs are rich in other nutrients, including healthy fats and minerals. Substituting turkey bacon will reduce the level of fat and cholesterol, while whole grain toast or a bowl of oatmeal, which can also be prepared in a microwave, will add fiber and complex carbohydrates.

Microwave Scrambled Eggs

What You'll Need

  • microwave safe bowl
     
  • two eggs
     
  • tablespoon of milk (can use soy or rice milk)
     
  • a little butter or olive oil to grease bowl (optional)
     
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. If using oil, lightly grease inside surface of the bowl.
     
  2. Crack eggs into bowl, add milk and salt.
     
  3. Gently beat with a fork and place in microwave oven, cover with paper towel.
     
  4. Heat for 1 minute on high.
     
  5. Mix eggs with fork (bowl may be hot).
     
  6. Cook for 30-second intervals until done.
     
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with bacon and whole grain toast.

Microwave Bacon

What You'll Need

  • microwave safe dish (a casserole dish is good)
     
  • bacon
     
  • paper towels

Directions

  1. over bottom of dish with paper towels.
     
  2. Lay bacon over paper towels in a single layer.
     
  3. Cover bacon with a paper towel.
     
  4. Cook on high for 90 seconds/slice.
     
  5. Check bacon after 5 minutes and rotate plate (use glove, it should be hot).
     
  6. Cook to desired level of "doneness," checking regularly.
     
  7. Allow bacon to cool before serving.
     
  8. Drain grease (it's hot!) and discard or compost paper towels.
     
  9. Serve with eggs and whole grain toast or oatmeal.

Microwave Oatmeal

What You'll Need

  • microwave safe bowl
     
  • 1 cup of oatmeal (not instant)
     
  • 2 cups water
     
  • dash of salt, brown sugar, fresh fruit, milk, butter

Directions

  1. Place oatmeal, salt, and water in the bowl.
     
  2. Place bowl in microwave and heat on high for 1 minute.
     
  3. Mix with spoon, heat another minute.
     
  4. Oatmeal is done when it just begins to boil over.
     
  5. Add brown sugar, milk, butter, and/or fruit and enjoy.

Serving your kids a balanced hot breakfast, especially on a cold winter morning, is a great way to ensure good nutrition and will make you feel good that your kids are getting a good start to their day.

For more information about good nutrition, visit the website for Kid's Health.