Cheryl Miller on
Jun 30th, 2005 |
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How to Create Single-Serving Breakfast Meal Kits . . . for on-the-go Good Nutrition
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet we get busy, rushed, and head out the door thinking we can catch something on the way to work. And that usually means fast food or junk food snacks.
Are you somebody who thinks you should eat breakfast but have a hard time sticking with a regular breakfast routine because you’re short of time or uninspired? If you like cereal, you’ll like this breakfast meal kit idea. Making meal kits ahead of time takes away the biggest obstacles to eating breakfast. If you have kids or a spouse, they’ll love them too. Kids will be more inclined to eat their cereal breakfast kits if they can make them themselves with the cereals and toppers they like. Teach them about the single serving concept and provide healthy options for the contents.
Packaging the Cereal
- As soon as you get home from the grocery store, open your cereal boxes or bags and measure single servings into light weight to-go containers. Look on the box for the serving size. It’s usually ¾ cup.
- If you like to mix your cereals, pour the different kinds into a large container to blend.
- Place as many plastic containers on the counter as you need in order to package up all of the opened cereal.
- After you add any optional toppers from the next step, put the lids on and stack them in your pantry for home use or take them to work for your “food drawer.” Note: I like to mix a couple of cereals for variety. This week I mixed these two: Go Lean (small amount for crunch and sweetness) Organic Flax Plus from Nature’s Path – This cereal has no chemicals, no synthetic additives or preservatives. Serving size ¾ cup 100 calories 140 calories with fortified skim milk
Adding Optional Toppers
- Rough chop walnuts, pecans, or almonds and place a small handful in each container.
- Chop dried fruit (papaya, banana, etc) and put a small amount in each container.
- Add dried cranberries, raisins or any other dried fruit.
- You can top with a small amount of higher calorie cereals like granola just to add a little sweetness and crunch. Sprinkling a little of this on top is better than mixing the two in bulk so that you can have better control over the amount you use.
Note: I sometimes include a fat date or fig to eat on the side or for a later break that day. Sticking one in the kit makes it more likely that I’ll eat it at some point during the day.
Packaging Milk Options
- Fill your single-serving containers with milk using recycled glass bottles, plastic juice containers, or small canning jars with screw tight lids. You can skip this step if you plan to eat your meal kits at home rather than transport them to work.
- If you’re lactose intolerant or want to try something different, stock your pantry with quart-size boxes of rice or soy milk to keep in the refrigerator at home or work. The quart-size box doesn’t take up much room in the fridge and chances are nobody at work will “steal” it. You can find these boxed drinks at your whole foods or conventional grocery stores. Another brand that is growing in popularity is Silk Soymilk in a half-gallon size.
Note: I like Rice Dream and was surprised that I also liked WestSoy Lite Vanilla. I tried it at a taste test at our local whole foods store and was surprised I liked it because I don’t usually like soy milk. WestSoy Lite Vanilla Soymilk at 110 calories per cup – 15 calories from fat supplies Because it’s fortified a cup supplies 30% of the daily calcium needs based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Where can you go wrong with meal kits?
- including things that you don’t like and probably won’t eat.
- using low quality ingredients – low on fiber and nutrition and high on preservatives and additives
- putting the groceries away thinking you’ll make them up later and later doesn’t come.
- not measuring a single serving size – it’s easy to overeat prepackaged foods, so be sure to package yours according to typical serving sizes
Ready, Set, Go Now it’s your turn to make some meal kits. If you feel that stopping long enough to open a box of cereal, get a bowl out of the cabinet, get the nuts out of the fridge, and open a box of raisins is sometimes four steps more than you think you have time to take, just reach for a breakfast meal kit and pour on the milk.
Comments Please: Do you make meal kits like these? If you do, I’d love from you. Write about it at the comments link below.
Try this Breakfast Experiment Are you eating the kind of breakfast that works best for you? My colleague Christi Lehner has a breakfast experiment for you to try to determine your best breakfast choices.
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