Breakfast for Champions

By Dr. Sharon Gurm BSc, ND, Naturopathic Physician, Clinic Founder & Clinical Director

I don’t know about you, but I get somewhat upset when companies like McDonald’s start trying to tell me that their food meets national Canada Food Guidelines, or when Oil companies like Enbridge start supporting breast cancer initiatives. Is it just me, or are corporations continuously trying to pull the toque over our eyes in an effort to capitalize on our hard earned money?

We’ve been lead, tugged, and dragged by companies when it comes to the products they sell – and like children during the Cabbage Patch craze, we flock to these products, expecting truth existing in their advertising.

I’m crazy for proper education when it comes to food, and when food companies with less than stellar products try persuading the general populous that they have chosen the healthy way approach – ESPECIALLY when it involves children.

This is Nutella
This “deliciously unique spread made from hazelnuts, cocoa, and skim milk” has been around for decades.

Recently, Nutella started the “Nutella Breakfast Table,” which states they are committed to inspiring Canadians to eat breakfast every day by creating a community where parents share tips, advice and recipes. This idea is fantastic, but to come from a company that has over 70% refined sugars and modified vegetable oil in their product is ludicrous. Why are we spending tax dollars in schools to educate parents and children on healthy meals when the product in question starts with sugar and has genetically modified ingredients?

How much longer can companies like Nutella, McDonald’s, and Subway get away with sabotaging what is actually healthy? Why do consumers continuously fall for their marketing schemes and advertising?

What I do agree with when it comes to the Nutella Breakfast Table is that breakfast IS an INCREDIBLY important meal that too many children in Canada are overlooking for multiple reasons: income, picky eaters, or  waking up too late. What I don’t agree with in the Nutella Breakfast Table is that this company is playing a pivotal role in providing healthy breakfasts to children coast to coast.

There is no denying how tough it can be to prepare proper healthy meals each morning before the kids runs off to school – however, like many other things, having a routine and a plan can help alleviate the morning madness when it comes to breakfast.

Giving our children a healthy meal each morning not only fills their tummies but helps enrich their minds by providing energy to learn, think and participate. Which is why it’s so important to be cognizant of what it is exactly you are feeding them.

Using a slow cooker can help immensely when it comes to night before preparation, and finding ways of getting young budding chefs involved in the decision making, and preparation of any meals is a great way to teach them early on about healthy whole foods.
Getting the kids involved in the meal planning and being comfortable around a kitchen can determine how they treat food and diet.

Have younger kids? Making healthy food fun with shapes and designs may be another way of getting the most picky children enjoying their morning meal.

Because breakfast is so fundamentally important for everyone I took a quick look around the WWW to see what I could find that was wholesome, healthy, and tasty. It didn’t take a lot of research to find healthy breakfasts… I found some really good ones that are not only healthy, but can be made the night before, in large batches, to last the week.

  • Slow Cooker Banana Walnut Oatmeal – Slow cooker oatmeal is perfect for a quick morning meal, and the combination of whole grains, bananas and walnuts will keep bellies full until the lunch bell rings.
  • Slow Cooker Baked Apples – Raisins, honey and cinnamon simmer all night with green apples to make a sweet, healthy breakfast that kids will run to the kitchen for.
  • Crockpot Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal – So different from cold, pre-packaged cereal, this cereal mix uses six different whole grains that cook overnight. In the morning, add natural sweeteners, fresh or dried fruits, or nuts to customize this fiber-rich, natural hot cereal.
  • Crockpot Breakfast Risotto – Apples, brown sugar and spices get mixed with Arborio rice and slow cooked overnight for a creamy morning nourishing breakfast.

*For something outside the Crockpot try a delicious vegan smoothie from Lunch Box Brunch by Kathy Patalsky, like this Raspberry Ritual Vitality Smoothie. For protein, add some Hemp Seeds or a couple of teaspoons of Almond Butter

It’s so important to be aware, and speak up when schools, play groups, and daycares try to get involved in feeding our children. Often, the right idea is there, however the direction can be skewed. It simply boils down to education and patience. By taking the time to read the labels, and know what’s in our ingredients we could diminish issues such as food allergies, digestive disorders, attention deficit disorder, fatigue and anxiety. Sugars, dyes, GMO’s and MSG’s can be found in many foods when you least expect it – that’s why it’s so important to eat as whole as possible.

For you and your child to be the best possible – Always eat a breakfast for champions.

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