Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. Many studies have shown that breakfast can positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance.1
One specific study that observed how breakfast has an impact on brain gray matter volume and cognitive function in children suggests that having breakfast has both short and long-term positive effects on the cognitive functioning of children.2
After starving overnight for almost eight hours, introducing the right kind of breakfast into your system is absolutely critical. A healthy, nutritious, and light breakfast can help you perform better throughout the day and ensure that your brain functions optimally. Here are easy-to-make breakfast recipes that promote brain health.
1. Banana-Bran Muffins
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
- Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth and whisk the bananas, buttermilk, wheat bran, oil, and vanilla.
- Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well.
- Fill the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle with walnuts (optional).
- Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown.
- Allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then, loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
2. Waffle Parfait
- 2 whole grain waffles
- ½ cup frozen berries (thawed)
- ½ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
- Add the berries to the waffles.
- Then, add the yogurt and flaxseed.
- Eat it immediately.
3. Yogurt Parfait
- ¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- ½ cup shredded wheat squares
- ¼ cup high-fiber cereal
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- ¼ banana, sliced
- ¼ cup berries
- Spread the high-fiber cereal in a bowl and add the shredded wheat squares.
- Add the walnuts, banana, and berries.
- Top it up with the yogurt and have it immediately.
4. Lox Toast
- 2 slices whole wheat toast
- ¼ cup regular or no-salt-added 1 percent cottage cheese (whipped or regular)
- 2 slices red onion
- 2 oz. smoked salmon
- 1 medium orange or 6 oz. orange juice
- Smear the toast with cottage cheese.
- Add the onions and salmon over it.
- Serve with orange or orange juice.
5. Berry-Banana Smoothie With Toast
- 8 oz. fat-free milk
- ½ cup frozen berries
- ½ banana, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup high-fiber cereal
- 1 slice whole wheat toast
- ¼ cup regular or no-salt-added 1 percent cottage cheese
- A dash of cinnamon
- Add the berries, ¼ banana, flaxseed, and cereal into a blender.
- Pour in the milk and blend them until they become smooth in texture.
- Top it with cottage cheese, ¼ banana, and cinnamon.
6. Granola Wedges
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup wheat flakes
- 1 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
- ½ cup honey
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread oats, wheat flakes and seeds (or nuts) on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until they become fragrant and begin to turn brown.
- Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
- Cook ½ cup honey in a large saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes, without stirring, until large foamy bubbles appear and it begins to darken at the edges.
- Now, pour the toasted oat mixture into the honey and stir until completely coated.
- Quickly press the granola into the prepared pie pan using a heat-resistant spatula coated with cooking spray.
- Allow it to cool for 30 minutes, cut into wedges and place them on a wire rack to cool.
7. Healthy Quesadilla
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
- ¼ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 2 tablespoon low-fat plain yogurt
- ¼ cup salsa
- 4 oz. blackcurrant juice or orange juice
- Scramble the egg and egg whites in olive oil.
- Fill the tortilla with feta cheese and eggs.
- Fold it in half and microwave until the cheese melts.
- Top it with yogurt and salsa.
- Eat it immediately with blackcurrant juice or orange juice.
8. Apple-Raisin Muesli
- ½ cup raw oats
- 2 tablespoon raisins
- ¼ cup chopped apple
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds or 6 chopped almonds
- 4 oz. low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 oz. fat-free milk
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar or honey
- Mix the oats, raisins, chopped apple.
- Pour in the yogurt and sprinkle the almonds.
- Top it up with milk and brown sugar or honey.
9. Egg Sandwich
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 whole wheat English muffin
- 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese
- 1 slice tomato
- 3 baby spinach leaves
- Fry the egg in olive oil.
- Fill the muffin with cheese, tomato, spinach, and the fried egg.
- Eat it right away and follow it up with an apple.
|↑1||Adolphus, Katie, Clare L. Lawton, and Louise Dye. “The effects of breakfast on behavior and academic performance in children and adolescents.” Frontiers in human neuroscience 7 (2013).|
|↑2||Taki, Yasuyuki, Hiroshi Hashizume, Yuko Sassa, Hikaru Takeuchi, Michiko Asano, Kohei Asano, and Ryuta Kawashima. “Breakfast staple types affect brain gray matter volume and cognitive function in healthy children.” PLoS One 5, no. 12 (2010): e15213.|