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Breakfast Bonanza
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Photo credit: Theresa Albert

What is the #1 thing you can do to nourish yourself for the day but not overeat? Portion Control.
It is an established fact that we consume far too much as a nation. As individuals we hardly have a concept of what constitutes an appropriate amount or serving size anymore. There are some visual cues that can be engaged to train our kids' eyes and tummies to right-size our hunger and expectations.

Whether you are mom trying to maintain her weight or dad trying to lose a few or a kid trying to grow, do you know what each should be eating to hit that goal? Each body has different needs so there is no single right answer. It is a really great exercise to use an app or tracker to input each individual's typical day and obtain your own barometer. No matter what you do, you will see that everything hinges on that #1 thing called portion control.
It is critical to start the day with the right amount of protein, fibre and fuel from breakfast.

Top Five ways to control breakfast portions:

1. Consume foods that are premeasured. Greek yogurt snack packs under 150 calories, 2 Weetabix biscuits, one small banana...anything that has fewer than 3 or 4 ingredients and that limits your consumption.

2. Research conducted at Cornell University consistently shows that we are affected positively and negatively by serving dish or container size. Tall slim glasses for smoothies rather than large and short and smaller bowls and plates help us feel fuller with smaller, more appropriate amounts.

3. If you are a juice drinker reduce the amount to the ridiculous. This single mistake can set off your blood sugar and actually make you more hungry all day since your body processes it as pure sugar (even the 100% juice versions) Scour yard sales for tiny 1950's style juice glasses if you are having juice. That 10-12 ounce glass is for water.

4. Place small bowls out for cereal or empty cereal boxes into decorative jars and use a measuring cup to scoop a sensible ½ cup amount. Use teaspoons or smaller spoons to eat cereal to prevent soup spoon shovelling.

5. Pour milk or cream into your mug before you fill with coffee (if you are using sugar, measure level teaspoons and know that your limit is 6 tsp from all sources including juice and cereal)
For a speedy, delicious way to make breakfast portions fun, consider making breakfast popsicles. The goodness is measured in for you and the out the door fun of mornings can go a lot more smoothly.

Breakfast Popsicle

You don't need to have traditional popsicle molds for these breakfast lifesavers, tiny paper cups on a cookie sheet will do. Consider using a plastic spoon as a stick so it can be eaten as muesli if it melts. (say while you are tying a shoe or walking a dog...)

Makes 2-4 servings Takes: 5 minutes plus freezing time

1.5 cup 3% plain yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoon hemp seeds
4 Weetabix biscuits
1.5 cups frozen blueberries
1 handful baby spinach
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 small orange, slice thickly and slice a spot for the spoon to slide through.
Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to smooth into popsicle molds or paper cups. Top with more plain yogurt to fill to the top and top with an orange slice. Slide the spoon through and freeze overnight.

 

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Theresa Albert, Food Communications Specialist, Nutritionist
 
Theresa's French Canadian influences are a part of her "no bologna" style as everything is on the table...not just the dinner. She has the unique ability to distill complex health concepts into simple, savvy steps to improve any lifestyle choice. Because she wants to have it all too, she gets to the point with humour and truth.
Theresa is a sought after media commentator and lifestyle pundit on many topics with a particular fascination with human relationships with food and culture. Her words can be read in such esteemed publications as The Toronto Star, Metro News, Today's Parent, Canadian Living and Canadian Family, Best Health and Shape Magazine. Her opinions voiced on CTV Newschannel, CBC and Global are always informative, thoughtful and entertaining. She has two books published in Canada and the US: Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day and Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck.
She can be found on twitter as 
@theresaalbert and at www.myfriendinfood.com