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Many people forget how important it is to start your day with a fueling breakfast. We often forget to include this meal due to lack of time and planning around hectic schedules. One versatile breakfast item that my family and I enjoy is a veggie egg muffin. This simple dish has fresh ingredients, is easy to make with only a few ingredients, and is packed with protein from the eggs and fiber from its veggies. One large egg has 6 grams of protein, including essential amino acids and only 70 calories. Eggs also provide a rich source of vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin and selenium. Additionally, eggs are very economical to make; one egg has an average cost of approximately 8.5 cents in today’s market.    .

Vegetable Egg Muffin on a Plate

Veggie Egg Muffins

I like to make many versions of this recipe, depending on what I have available in my refrigerator. I always start with 10-12 eggs, and add milk and various veggies on hand. I also add additional spices to enhance the flavor. Spices include fresh garlic (or garlic powder), onion powder, parsley flakes, and sometimes fresh or dried basil.

Here is an egg muffin recipe that I would to share to get started. This can be modified based on your veggie preferences and items you have on hand.

Veggie Egg Breakfast Muffins
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • ¼ cup nonfat milkEggs in a bowl. Peppers, onion, spinach, broccoli, and mushrooms on cutting board
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 3 medium-size mushrooms
  • ½ cup broccoli
  • 2 peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, nonfat milk and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir in the spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, diced peppers and onions. After vegetables are mixed together, add your cheese to the bowl.Egg mixture with veggies in a bowl

Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin pan cups and bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the egg is fully cooked. Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan then use a knife to loosen the muffins from the cups.
*Adapted from Just a Taste

These healthy egg muffins taste good by themselves, but I often will make it into an egg sandwich to add more fiber. I start with a whole grain sandwich thin, and then add guacamole, taco sauce, 1 slice of cheese, and sometimes a thin slice of deli turkey. After I’ve assembled my sandwich, I warm it up in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. This is a great sandwich to start the day. They can be made the night before and put in a sandwich bag for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or afternoon snack. My husband likes to have it as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

If they will not be used in 5 days, plan to put them in the freezer for a later date.

Why not give it a try this week, and leave a reply in the comment box below to share other ideas for a healthy breakfast egg muffin.

Resources:
http://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/egg-nutrition-basics/

http://www.aeb.org/news-trends/incredible-breakfast-trends/new-consumer/millennial-evolution

https://www.justataste.com/healthy-breakfast-egg-muffins-recipe/

 

Written by:  Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu and Shannon Smith, RD, LD, Program Coordinator IGNITE Grant, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, smith.11604@osu.edu

Reviewed by:   Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,   remley.4@osu.edu

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Four year olds can be frustrating at times especially when it comes to eating. I can remember when my four year old daughter would simply refuse to eat at the dinner time. “I’m not hungry daddy” she quipped as she would play with her food. As a parent I would have a few options a.) make her stay at the table until she finishes her plate, b.) send her to bed without supper, or c.) put her food in the refrigerator for later. The correct answer is “c.”

In most cases, children, toddlers and infants are actually better “intuitive eaters” than adults. In other words, they respond better to hunger and fullness cues. Unfortunately for adults, our eating habits have been corrupted by our environments. How so?

  • We grew up in the “clean plate club.” Our moms and dads made us finish everything on our plates. Today, portion sizes keep getting bigger (in 2050 a regular soda at the movies will fill a water cooler jug if current trend continues) and these values, although helpful during times of hardship, might contribute to eating too much.

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  • We eat to cope with emotions. When food is plentiful, we eat when we are stressed or bored. Although this behavior is normal in moderation, it is problematic if it happens too much.
  • We eat too quickly. This was a problem in my family growing up- my dad and I would finish before my mom sat down at the table. Today, our environment promotes fast eating. We have only so much time at work for lunch and our children, in some cases, have only ten to fifteen minutes to eat at school. Eating quickly does not allow us to respond to our fullness cues and again we might eat too much.
  • We skip meals all together. Many skip breakfast and lunch and eat only one meal a day. By the time dinner arrives, well let’s just say horses better hide! Sometimes, people can eat more in one meal than eating smaller meals throughout the day.
  • We go on extreme weight loss diets. In a culture of “thinness” the temptation is to go on diets where food is restricted and hunger cues are ignored. For many this promotes obesity because the body may become more efficient at converting food to fat when normal eating patterns return after the diet.
  • We practice “distracted” eating. We eat when we drive; we eat in front of the T.V.  and at events. In these situations, we are distracted from our hunger and fullness.

According to the CDC, obesity and associated chronic diseases such as diabetes are growing problems in all demographic groups. Although the etiology of problem is complex, our environment that discourages intuitive eating is a factor. We eat way too much and do not get enough physical activity. According to “Health for Every Body” developed by University of Missouri Extension, there are several things that families can do to promote intuitive eating for health and wellness:

  • Avoid distracted eating by encouraging family meals. According to Thriving Newsletter by University of Missouri Extension, several studies have demonstrated that families that eat together at the table actually are healthier.
  • Avoid extreme weight loss diets. Rather, set behavior goals rather than weight goals. For example try to set a weekly walking goal than a goal to lose 10 pounds in a week. In addition, your children will not model your dieting which could potentially lead to an eating disorder.
  • Eat breakfast. Research clearly shows that those who eat breakfast have better health outcomes.
  • Slow down. Put your utensils down between bites. Pay attention to your hunger and fullness.
  • Pay attention to emotional eating. Find other healthy behaviors such as walking to replace food. Snack on healthy food such as fruits or vegetables.

Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD

Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness

OSU Extension

 

Reviewed by Susan Zies, Extension Educator

OSU Extension, Wood County

Sources: A New You: Health for Every Body, University of Missouri Extension

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Do you make time for breakfast?  It can be a real challenge in this fast-paced life.  But, what happens in the middle of the morning when you have not had breakfast? How do you feel?  I know that I am not as alert as I should be.

If you have children who are starting to get ready for another school year don’t let them go to school hungry.  Start your school year routine out with a good breakfast or enroll your child in the school breakfast program.  A child without breakfast will not be able to concentrate.  Learning is interrupted until that child eats.  The bottom line is: “A hungry child cannot learn.”

If a child does not have good quality food during all periods of childhood, the cognitive development of that child is handicapped.  Not enough food, or poor quality food can cause children to have behavior, attention, and learning problems.  Poor nutrition impacts school performance and the overall development of a child.  Yet, this issue affects thousands of children each day.  Most importantly, it is so easy to prevent.

A balanced breakfast is needed including protein, complex carbohydrates and fat.  This involves choosing food from at least three food groups.  A child who eats a breakfast containing only juice and dry cereal without milk will run out of energy by mid-morning because the breakfast lacks protein and fat.  In addition to common breakfast choices such as cereal with milk and fruit, try incorporating non-traditional breakfast foods like cheese, crackers and grapes or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk.

Give both you and your children the advantage by starting the day with a good breakfast.

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension.

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You have probably heard all of the studies about breakfast being the most important meal of the day for children – but did you ever think about it being as important for you, the parent or employee?
Literally breakfast means “Break the Fast”. For most of us it has been at least eight and probably more like ten hours since we last ate and our body is in need of refueling.

So what are those breakfast benefits?

  • Many people think that if they skip breakfast they can help their diet, or lose weight – but the opposite is probably true. Breakfast ups your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories during the day. Studies show that those of us who eat breakfast consume less calories during the day, and are better at getting the nutrients that we need for the day.
  • Numerous studies show that children who eat breakfast are less likely to be absent or late to school, and are less likely to have stomach aches or headaches. They are able to concentrate better, make fewer errors, and are more creative and work faster.
  • Other studies show that children who eat breakfast are more cooperative, get along better with others, cause less fights, and spend less time in the principal’s office for fights.
  • Breakfast eaters tend to eat less fat during the day and those who skip breakfast tend to have higher blood cholesterol levels. A high blood cholesterol level is linked with an increased risk for heart disease and other chronic health diseases.

To get your family off to a good start each morning make every attempt to include three food groups – think dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, or protein/meat. Breakfast is an easy place to get in a whole grain to improve your fiber consumption. There are many whole grain cereals and breads, as well as bagels, English muffins, and pita style wraps. Include a fruit or veggie too – sliced fruits in your cereal or top of your cream cheese or peanut butter on a slice of toast are easy. I love to put dried cranberries or raisins in my low fat oatmeal – then I don’t feel the need for butter and brown sugar.

So what are some quick ideas?

  • Try a wheat wrap with light cream cheese or peanut butter and sliced fruit.
  • A favorite of mine is a low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and a little high fiber cereal for crunch.
  • Why wait for lunch to have a sandwich – whole grain bread (maybe toasted) with lean ham and a slice of cheese is easy to take with you. Grab a 100% juice box or pour some juice in your beverage container and you are ready to go.
  • If you have a few minutes to blend – try a smoothie with low fat yogurt, fresh or canned fruit, milk or juice, and a couple ice cubes. Some people even throw in a carrot.
  • Toss a handful of whole grain crackers in a bag, grab a piece of fresh fruit (apples, bananas, a Clementine, a handful of grapes or blueberries, or a fresh peach or plum), and a cheese stick make for easy transport.
  • Grab a bag or small bowl with lid to make your own snack mix – mix a couple dry cereals with cheese crackers, dried fruits, pretzels, and maybe a couple chocolate chips. This has been a quick favorite of my daughter for years – if she doesn’t eat it all in the car on our way in the morning, she has an afterschool snack before soccer.
  • Make a batch of whole grain, pumpkin, or fruit muffins – eat some now and freeze the rest to eat in a week or two with your skim milk or juice. Try replacing part of the oil in the recipe with applesauce to make them healthier.

Breakfast is important to our children and for us too – why wouldn’t we want to be more cooperative, get along better with our co-workers, concentrate better and work faster – just like they do. Make it a priority by purchasing foods to make that morning race go smoother.

Author: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Science, Ohio State University Extension.

Sources:

Clemson Cooperative Extension, Hunter & Cason, http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutrition/nutrition/life_stages/hgic4106.html.

Utah State University Cooperative Extension, Williams, http://extension.usu.edu/saltlake/files/uploads/pdf/BreakfastMostImportant.pdf.

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Hess, http://www.uwgb.edu/counselinghealth/wellness/hu/BenefitsOfBreakfast.pdf.

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