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Maggie Jover: Nutritious ways to start the day right

Did you know that people who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and diabetic than those who usually don’t? Unfortunately, many breakfast foods contain a lot of sugar and have been stripped of their natural nutrients.

Eating a balanced breakfast will help everyone in the family to get going and sustain their energy until lunch time. Here are some tips for a healthy breakfast:

* Oatmeal is quick. Instant oatmeal is great on a cold morning and contains fiber and vitamins. Choose oatmeal that isn’t already sweetened, and add raisins or fresh fruit to sweeten it.

* Healthy smoothies. Blend frozen fruit (bananas and berries are great), low-fat or fat-free yogurt, and 100 percent fruit juice for a quick, tasty breakfast smoothie with lots of nutrients.

* Go 100 percent whole grain. Fiber-containing whole-grain cereals, served with skim or fat-free milk, can be a healthy choice.

* Breakfast on the go. If you don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, keep whole-grain mini bagels on hand or small muffins, packets of nuts, and dried fruits that can be taken with you to work or a meeting. Apple slices and bananas are easy to take and not too messy!

* Other ideas for a healthier breakfast include adding nuts for protein, using fruit spreads instead of jellies, and adding a favorite fruit to your breakfast.

Remember, small changes in your breakfast habits can make a difference in your health and how you feel all day long. A healthy breakfast does not have to take a lot of time.

Upcoming events

The “Cooking Well with Diabetes” program begins June 17. This four-lesson series will help anyone who wants to begin a healthy eating lifestyle.

For more information or to register for the classes, call 940-349-2882.

MAGGIE JOVER is the family and consumer sciences county extension agent with Texas AgriLife Extension. She can be reached at 940-349-2882.