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Do you love foods that are traditionally served for breakfast like pancakes, waffles, or omelets? Studies of America’s favorite foods often include: bagels, waffles, bacon, pancakes, and sausage gravy with biscuits towards the top of survey results. Many of these foods we may not actually eat that often though, because we think they are only for breakfast – and we only have time to fix a big breakfast on the weekend. Or maybe, the version of these foods we are used to, is higher in fat and calories than we know we should have? If you are in one of these groups, why not think about a made-over breakfast for dinner?

Breakfast for dinner may be an easy way to celebrate both National Fruit and Vegetable Month and National Family Meals Month as we wrap up September. The importance of those family meals can’t be overlooked. A few of those benefits include: better academics for youth, higher self-esteem, lower risk of depression, and lower risk of substance abuse. Family eating pancakes and fruit

Here is the start of a list of breakfast foods that would make great family dinners:

  • Baked or slow cooker oatmeal with berries, apples, nuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon.
  • English muffin or wrap sandwich – whole grain muffin or tortilla with either nut spread with fruit, sliced veggies and cheese, or light cheese and over-easy egg.
  • French toast with sliced fruit – make sure you use a whole grain bread.
  • Egg and veggie burritos – use a whole grain tortilla, add scrambled eggs, light cheese, a few black beans, and chopped veggies (tomatoes, onion, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant).
  • Omelet – use those chopped veggies, light cheese, herbs, and left over ham/turkey/chicken.
  • Frittata – A frittata has the ingredients mixed in, rather than folded in the center like an omelet. They can be baked in a pie pan or casserole dish, cooked in a skillet on top of the stove, or made in an electric skillet. The combinations are limitless. Eggs can be combined with any type of chopped vegetable, cheese, herbs, or even a little leftover meat. To make individual frittatas, pour into well-greased muffin tins with each person adding their own choice of vegetables or favorite cheese or herb. Get creative with these – think pizza made with eggs; Italian herbs; mozzarella cheese; diced tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or onions; and a couple mini pepperoni. Or Southwest with eggs; shredded chicken; diced tomatoes, peppers, and green chilies; hot pepper cheese; and spices like cumin and chili powder. The bonus with mini muffin frittatas is you can bake them ahead and reheat for a quick breakfast or pack in a lunch.They can also be frozen and used when you need a quick dinner.        Frittata
  • Whole grain pancakes with fresh fruit or even shredded zucchini. Cooking Matters has a great Orange Oatmeal Pancake that includes orange juice, whole wheat flour, and oats – you don’t even need syrup.
  • Avocado whole grain toast – with pears, lean chicken, and greens can be quick favorite too.

By making a few minor changes to our traditional breakfast favorites like using the whole grain version, or a low fat milk or cheese, you can cut unnecessary calories and increase fiber, vitamins and minerals. Our goal is to try and choose foods from all five food groups throughout the day. Dinner is a great time to help move you in the right direction and choose a variety of foods from MyPlate (low-fat dairy or dairy substitute, fruit, vegetable, low fat meat or protein, and whole grains.)

We can’t wait to hear your favorite breakfast for dinner food. Please share your ideas in the comments section. Recipes are linked to several of the foods by following the hyperlink on the name.

Written by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County.

Sources:

Produce for Better Health Foundation, https://fruitsandveggies.org/.

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl, https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

Cooking Matters, https://cookingmatters.org/

The Family Dinner Project, https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/about-us/benefits-of-family-dinners/

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