Redefining Breakfast...

Our house has always been a “cereal and fruit” breakfast place.  Most of that stems from the fact that I go to work before 6:00am every morning so my girls have learned to fend for themselves.  Cereal and fruit require little cooking and are fast and easy to fix…

My cattle eat breakfast at the same time that my children do, so Daddy is in charge of breakfast at our house…

There are times on the weekends when one of my older girls will make home-made pancakes (my grandfather has a secret recipe that is awesome!), or they will con their daddy into making home-made crepes with strawberries.  But, up until this week, cereal and fruit have provided the mainstay on school mornings.

My girls headed back to school last week and our family is transitioning back into longer "school days".  You may or may not be aware that school lunch requirements as dictated by the USDA have changed significantly this school year.  These changes were precipitated by Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” program designed to reduce childhood obesity.

She’s long and lean and needs to be properly “fueled”…

While I am a huge fan of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and fully support seeing more of a priority placed on these food items in the lunchroom; I am truly at a loss at the calorie and protein limits that are also included in the new school lunch plan.  As a seventh grader, my favorite Junior High Cross Country runner will only receive between 9-10 ounces of meat per week and 600-700 calories per day if she chooses to eat school lunch…

For someone who leaves home at 7:45am, goes to school all day, and then has Cross Country practice until 5:30 at night, the new school lunch leaves her body nutritionally unprepared for the demands that are being made on it.  As a young athlete who is still growing and developing, she needs some ZIP (Zinc, Iron, Protein) to get her through the day.  A 2 ounce hamburger is just plain not enough…

Neither are Cross Country races…

Matt and I spent the weekend discussing what we could do to solve this problem.  This week, we are “redefining breakfast” at the Feed Yard Foodie house.  Matt is taking up residence as a short order breakfast cook.  The cereal and fruit that used to be on the menu are now being replaced with needed protein and a hot meal to help my girls get through the day.

Hot oatmeal, bacon, eggs, pancakes, and breakfast burritos with eggs and hamburger will likely all appear on the menu as we venture through the week…

Only time will tell what Chef Matt will come up with–I am simply thankful that he is such a devoted daddy :)

While I am confident that Matt and I can come up with a compromise at our house to make sure that our girls get enough to eat, I am frustrated that this is an issue.  I worry that other children whose parents do not have the time, money or motivation to get up and cook for them will suffer.

We live in a small community where many of the Junior High and High School students do a sport after school.  Universal participation is necessary so that our school can have sports teams.  These young athletes need a good lunch that will carry them through the afternoon and its physical challenges.

Our school lunch program needs to FUEL THEM so that they can MOVE!

Does anyone have breakfast menu suggestions for Chef Matt to help him fuel our girls for the day?

Anne Burkholder

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