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Global Network

For Immediate Release: August 2, 2011
Contact: Mya Nelson, m.nelson@aicr.org, 202-328-7744 x3047

Cancer Experts Offer Back-to-School Breakfast Ideas That Make the Grade

Five Quick, No-Cook Breakfast Menus from AICR


According to a national nutrition and health survey, one in three American teens start the school day without breakfast, which can affect academic performance. Today, nutrition experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) warned that lack of energy and lower test scores are not the whole story.

Studies show that children and adolescents who skip the morning meal have higher body fat than those who eat breakfast. And that, according to AICR Registered Dietitian Alice Bender, can set kids up for serious health problems in the future.

"Skipping breakfast is one of several unhealthy habits that can put young adults on track to becoming overweight or obese older adults." says Bender. "As our obesity rate continues to increase, we'll see more people at high risk for chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes."

No Time for the Most Important Meal

Parents know that breakfast is important, but busy schedules and hectic mornings have a way of quashing even the best intentions. The challenge is finding the right combination of healthy choices – and the time to prepare and eat them.

To help moms and dads send their teens and children to school with a healthy start, AICR has developed some fast and easy healthy breakfast ideas and tips for getting breakfast on the menu more often.

Good for Kids, Good for Moms and Dads

A good start, Bender says, is for parents to get in the breakfast habit. When parents have a morning meal, kids are more likely to eat breakfast too. Healthy choices are important, but keep it simple: A whole grain ready-to-eat cereal with fruit and milk or plain instant oatmeal with raisins and yogurt take less than 5 minutes to have on the table.

Ask your children and teens for menu ideas and invite them to help shop and even prepare some things on the weekend. Make extra whole grain waffles on Sunday morning and freeze the leftovers for a quick toaster meal later in the week.

AICR's Five Healthy No-Cook Breakfasts

These meals take just a few minutes to prepare and can be eaten at home or on the way to school.

  1. Breakfast Trail Mix (see recipe below) + reduced-sodium string cheese
  2. Peanut butter on brown rice cakes + apple (whole or slices) + 1 cup milk
  3. Breakfast smoothie (Berries, yogurt or silken tofu, 100% juice) + whole grain mini-bagel
  4. Breakfast Fruit Wrap – whole-wheat tortilla with ricotta cheese, a little fruit spread, sliced strawberries and chopped nuts.
  5. Whole-wheat pita bread with hummus, fresh fruit or a small box of raisins

Breakfast Trail Mix

  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried apple pieces
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup oat circles
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal flakes

Put all the ingredients into big bowl. Stir well with wooden spoon. Divide into six equal amounts in small resealable plastic bags.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 210 calories, 12 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 24 g carbohydrate,
7 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 50 mg sodium.

AICR's website www.aicr.org and their brochure "The New American Plate for Breakfast" are filled with practical tips, recipes and tools that can help you make breakfast quicker, healthier – and a part of your family's life, every day.



The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $95 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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