“Many products are labeled as vitamin or mineral ‘fortified’ or ‘enriched,’” says Dr. Angie Neison, a family medicine and culinary medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy. “Fortification with vitamins doesn’t make foods inherently healthy or good for you.”
The trick is choosing items that contain whole grains or whole oats, and they can be just as quick and easy to prepare as their prepackaged counterparts. “Studies show that kids who eat foods in their whole form have better academic performance and feel less hungry,” says Dr. Neison.
Dr. Neison offers the following healthy breakfast tips, plus her favorite whole-oats recipe:
- Make sure “whole grain” or “whole oat” is the first ingredient on the list.
- Choose cereals with less sugar and more fiber, and avoid artificial food colorings.
- If your favorite cereal isn’t the healthiest option, try mixing it with something higher in fiber.
- Be mindful. Give yourself and your family some room to choose, and let yourself opt for unhealthier options once in a while.
Yields 2 to 3 servings
1 1/2 cups whole, uncooked oats
1 1/2 cups milk of your choice
1 fresh apple or your favorite frozen fruit, diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Cover and put in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, enjoy cold or heat in the microwave until warm before serving.