Breakfast on the Go
Juice boxes and granola bars have taken the place of glasses of juice and bowls of cereal. Dashboard dining is helped by cup holders and slide-out racks . For parents and children alike, breakfast, like lunch, has become a movable feast.
"Our surveys show," says Mona Doyle, president of Consumer Research Network, "that while consumers would prefer to have breakfast at home, the reality is they don't have time to do that."
What are kids eating? Bananas, because they come in their own wrapping. Bagels, because they don't make crumbs, and the sticky spread is kept neatly inside. And granola bars, because we still think of cereal as the ideal breakfast food. For the past two years, the fastest growing products in the breakfast-food business have been cereal and granola bars, and in that same time sales of juice boxes, which were always strong, have doubled.
Whether breakfast is eaten at home or in the car, it is important for children's performance. "Breakfast jump-starts the brain and keeps adults and children alert throughout the morning," says Doris Derelian, president of the American Dietetic Association. "After eight to ten hours without food, the body is essentially a cold furnace waiting to be stoked."
Fuel for that furnace should include:
1. A serving of protein-rich food, such as low-fat milk or yogurt, cheese, or peanut butter
2. A food rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain cereal, bread, or muffins
3. A food rich in vitamin C such as an orange, grapefruit, or strawberries
4. A small amount of fat
Rather than bemoan the loss of the family breakfast (and when's the last time you had pancakes and bacon on a weekday morning?), we should be finding ways to provide these nutrients for family members who are eating breakfast on the go.