Breakfast, the most important meal

When trying to help your family eat healthier, like anything else in life, the best place to start is at the beginning. The first meal of the day is also the most important because without it our bodies aren't fuelled and ready for what the day may bring.

Make the most important meal of the day the healthiest too

By starting out healthy you're paving the way for more healthy meals throughout the day as well. Even if you, or your other family members, are prone to grab a high calorie snack or fast food style lunch, you'll be one step ahead by eating a healthy breakfast. Just remember, skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Instead of omitting breakfast or filling up on sugary foods each morning, try some of these ideas for a healthy breakfast menu in your household each and every day of the week.

Bagels - Low-fat cream cheese or your favorite natural fruit spread make bagels a quick breakfast when you're pressed for time. You can even take them with you if necessary, but beware eating them in the car might be a little messy depending on the toppings you choose.

Smoothies - Blend your favorite fruits with a bit of low-fat milk or yogurt and drink your breakfast in the car or on the bus. The possibilities are endless as far as flavors go. You can even add some of your favorite vegetables to help get in the recommended 5 servings per day.

Non-fat yogurt - With fruit or without fruit, yogurt is a great addition to just about any breakfast. It's full of calcium and fat free yogurt can actually work as a substitute for higher fat content foods such as mayo and cream cheese.

Fresh fruit - Mix it up in a salad. Cut it up in your cereal, or eat your favorite kind by itself. Fruit is great no matter how you eat it. For those who like cottage cheese, mixing it with your favorite fruit is a great breakfast option that doesn't take forever to prepare.

Some people like to eat yogurt. But, yogurt by itself won’t keep you from being hungry. Add some granola and a few blueberries to the mix. This makes a great breakfast idea for those mornings when you are running late. Keep small bags of granola and blueberries in the fridge next to the yogurt so you can grab them and run.

Cold cereals - Whole grain cereals are what you want here. Skip the sugary coated kid cereals. The benefits include a healthier heart and decreased risk for diabetes, among many others.

Oatmeal - There's nothing quite like a piping hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter day to get you started on the right foot. Top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Whole wheat peanut butter toast - Peanut butter is a great source of protein and the whole wheat is a healthier option than white toast. Most kids love peanut butter and will jump at the chance to eat it for breakfast instead of with jelly for lunch.

Omelets or scrambled eggs - Eggs are a great source of protein and mixing them with your favorite veggies or peppers give them a boost compared to just eating them plain or worse, frying them. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese for added appeal to little ones.

Granola - Granola is a great source of fiber and other essential vitamins. Be careful though some granola can be very high in fat. Eat in moderation and you'll be just fine.

Egg sandwich – The eggs can be cooked the night before and placed in a sealed container. In the morning, warm up the eggs in the microwave. If you want, add some chopped veggies or shredded cheese. Serve on toasted wheat bread. The night before, place two pieces of bread into a Ziploc bag for each family member. They can toast their bread as they get up and place the sandwich in the bag for easy transport in the car to work or school.

Muffins - Muffins are great because they can be made ahead of time saving lots of hectic mornings from become even more rushed. Mix fruits or vegetables in the batter and you'll not only receive the grain from the muffin but your fruit and veggies too.

Start your family out right each and every morning with a healthy breakfast. It's the most important, but it can also be the healthiest without a lot of hassle or time. Enjoy the variety that the options above, along with others give you.

The breakfast battle

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many of us neglect breakfast. And there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that your body and mind will suffer unless you have a healthy breakfast each morning.

You spend six to eight hours sleeping. After that time, your body needs fuel to keep going. Without breakfast at home, your options for on the run nutrition may amount to too much fat, too much sugar and too many carbs. And, that convenient run to the fast food joint is not as convenient and time saving as you think if everyone else has the same idea. The fifteen or twenty minutes spent in line could have been used to fill your belly with something good at home.

Are you fighting the breakfast battle? To get a filling meal you don’t have to opt for too much fat, calories or carbs. These quick and easy breakfast ideas can be made within minutes and are a much healthier alternative to skipping breakfast or grabbing a high fat alternative.

Quick and healthy breakfast ideas: oatmeal; egg sandwich; fruit smoothies; yogurt with fruit and granola.