CHEF TIMOTHY Amid back-to-school excitement and the day-to-day rush don't overlook the importance of having a nutritious breakfast. A healthy breakfast provides great benefits for children in their early childhood development. This should be their biggest meal of the day, helping to keep their young minds sharp and alert.
The United Negro College Fund slogan – embedded in the national consciousness over four decades ago – declares that, "The mind is a terrible thing to waste." Well, an undernourished mind leads to a hungry and uncontrollable child.
A healthy breakfast recipe to blend into a child's morning features a simple waffle with some fruit on top and a glass of cold almond milk.
Check out this waffle recipe:
The Best-Ever-Brown Rice Waffles
• 1 3/4 cups warm water
• ¼ cup ground flaxseed
• 2 cups brown rice flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 cups Almond milk
Whisk the ground flaxseed into the warm water in a medium bowl; set aside and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, sift or whisk together the rice flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk the almond milk into the water and flaxseed mixture. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the batter is slightly lumpy, with lumps smaller than peas.
Preheat the waffle iron for 3 to 5 minutes while allowing the batter to stand. Stir the batter another 5 to 10 strokes, breaking up any clumps of rice flour that haven't absorbed moisture. Generously spray both grids of the waffle iron with Pam spray, if needed. Pour the batter into the center of the iron, covering no more than two-thirds of the iron's surface for the first waffle. Adjust the amount as needed for subsequent waffles. Bake each waffle for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it can be easily removed. Makes 5 (7-inch) round Belgian waffles.
Chef note: These waffles can be made a day ahead of time or frozen and put into a toaster oven and heated as need. They also make great snacks.
Snack to it, with care!
The school day can extend late into the afternoon, making the need for healthy snacks a big part of parents' support process for their children.
Some simple and healthy snacks are apples, pears, nuts, peanut butter, carrots and homemade trail mix.
Remember to consider the weather when deciding what to pack for your child's lunch. Some lockers can become very hot. A thermal lunchbox can help keep out growing bacteria that can spread if the wrong type of food is left in a hot locker or area exposed to the elements.
As we choose food and snacks try to avoid prepackaged meals. They have a high fat content and not a whole lot of nutrition. Always read the ingredients in those crackers and drinks. They often are loaded with hidden fats and sugars.
So choose wisely for yourself and your children. Good health benefits far outweigh quick and unhealthy decisions that could give rise to health issues in the future.