Thursday, September 17, 2009
Why skipping Breakfast is a not a smart way to save time
By Mary Trotter, MS, RD

With another summer gone, back to school is on everyone's mind. As you set up your school routine, be sure to include a healthy breakfast for everyone in the family. While it's true mornings can be chaotic, skipping breakfast is not a smart way to save time. The effect of missing this important meal can have consequences throughout the rest of the day, especially for kids. Experts tell us that when kids eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast, it improves attention span, focus, and concentration in the classroom. Recent studies show that kids who eat breakfast are more productive and creative, have higher standardized test scores, and are less likely to miss days of school. A good breakfast also gives kids more energy, improves behavior, and may help maintain a healthy weight. So, what makes up a healthy, balanced breakfast? Protein - Protein helps slow down food absorption and provides a sense of fullness. It also helps to maintain blood sugar level, and prevents that jittery feeling and growling stomach right before lunch! There's protein in peanut butter; low fat milk, yogurt, and other dairy; as well as eggs, lean meats and nuts. Fiber - Fiber also provides that sense of fullness and helps to lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy GI tract (i.e., keeps us "regular"), and maintain blood sugar level. Fiber can be found in fruits and vegetables and in whole grain cereals and bread. Healthy fat - Fat can get a bad reputation, thanks to the many stories about diets high in saturated fat and trans fats. But healthy fat unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids  in moderation, is an important nutrient for health. Fat supports young children's rapid growth and learning, adds flavor to food, helps satisfy hunger, and is needed to absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Healthy fats can be found in nuts and seeds, olives, olive and canola oils, nut butters, avocado, and fatty fish such as albacore tuna and salmon. Complex Carbohydrates - Found in whole grain cereals, breads, and muffins, complex carbs give us energy and help start the day off right. Preparing a quick, healthy breakfast is possible! Scrambled eggs and toast are fast (just leave the dishes till later). Add cheese and a veggie like spinach or broccoli to the eggs for more nutrients and fiber. Whole grain waffles, oatmeal (instant is fine), and cold cereal with low fat milk are good, quick choices. Look for cereal with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber and no more than 6 grams of sugar per serving. Adding nuts to the bowl boosts your protein and healthy fats. Include fruit for more vitamins and fiber. Even when it's breakfast on-the-go or nothing, there are still plenty of healthy options. A peanut butter & jelly sandwich with a banana and carton of milk does the trick. Yogurt with granola and an apple works well too. If your kids claim they aren't hungry, let them "pick" an easy finger food like dry cereal or trail mix made with whole grain cereal, nuts, and dried fruit. Even whole grain crackers and a cheese stick or hard boiled egg makes for a fast, nutritious breakfast. Save precious minutes in the morning by planning ahead. The night before, have the kids help you set up the bowls, spoons, glasses and cereal boxes, for example. Make a batch of trail mix and store it in snack bags. Bake some healthy, whole grain fruit and nut muffins or mini quiches in muffin cups  just freeze and bring out as needed. Many kids have the option of purchasing breakfast at school. To make sure your children choose wisely, review the menu ahead of time. Discuss the healthy options and let them make the final choice. All these tips are important for grown-ups too! The best way to get your kids on the right track with healthy eating habits is for them to see you eating the same way. About the author Mary Trotter is a program and policy analyst for Nemours Health & Prevention Services.

Dr. Cabrera appointed to board Nanticoke Health Services announces Joaquin Cabrera, MD, FACOG as a new member that will serve on the board of directors for Nanticoke Health Services. Dr. Cabrera, president elect of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital's medical staff, is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is a graduate of Puerto Rico's Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine and completed his residency at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Md. and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. His professional memberships include the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Delaware Medical Society and the Sussex County Medical Society.

Youth rehab lecture offered Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, athletic trainers and gym instructors will benefit from attending the 12th annual Distinguished Lecture Series at Delaware Technical & Community College, Owens Campus on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year's topic, "Treating the Young Athlete," will provide clinicians with an evidence-based approach to the evaluation and treatment of injuries related to young athletes. More children are participating in organized youth sports. These younger participants are being exposed to new movements and musculoskeletal patterns that are leading to both acute and chronic injuries. Presenter Dr. Jeff Konin is a licensed physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer who has written several textbooks and given numerous speeches on sports medicine topics throughout the world. The seminar fee of $135 includes handouts, a continental breakfast and lunch. For more information or to register, contact Delaware Tech's Corporate and Community Programs at 302-854-6996.

Pampered Chef to benefit Hospice Delaware Hospice will benefit from a Pampered Chef Fundraiser Cooking Show, organized by Karen Rogers, Pampered Chef senior consultant, at the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, on Monday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. Delaware Hospice will receive 25% of sales exceeding $600 to benefit its programs and services to the community, including additional 10% bonuses at various sales levels. Orders to benefit Delaware Hospice will be accepted through Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. Orders specifying "Delaware Hospice" may also be placed at For more information or to register for the event, call 856-7717.

Committee to meet Sussex County's Advisory Committee for the Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities will take its September meeting on the road, hosting a session in which the public is encouraged to attend to ask questions and learn more about the issues facing today's seniors citizens and residents with physical challenges. The Advisory Committee invites the public to attend the committee's next meeting at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, at the Greenwood CHEER Center. The forum will be an open session to discuss a variety of topics, including transportation, health, state and non-profit services, and more. The Sussex County Advisory Committee for the Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities is an 11-member panel established by the Sussex County Council to be an advocate for programs and policies that benefit older and disabled residents. The committee meets on the third Monday of January, March, May, July, September and November. All meetings are open to the public.

Depression Support Group There will be a free bimonthly Depression Support Group meeting in Laurel on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Any person who has signs and symptoms of depression and is under the care of a professional counselor/MD is welcome to attend. To register, call Life Matters Counseling and Consulting at 302-465-6612.

Living with a chronic disease Have you been affected by a medical condition that has caused suffering and loss of physical abilities over a period of years? Some examples of chronic disease include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and lung diseases. If so, join Delaware Hospice and The Wellness Community-DE, as they collaborate to offer "Living a Healthy Life with a Chronic Condition." This free 6-week program begins on Monday, Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m. and will be held at the Wellness Community's Sussex facility, which is located at 18947 John J. Williams Hwy, Suite 312, Rehoboth. This chronic disease self-management workshop is open to any persons who have one or more chronic conditions and to their caregiver or family member. To register or receive more information, call 645-9150.

MS offers videoconference Thanks to live videoconferencing technology, members of the Delaware Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society can stay close to home and still take part in the chapter's annual meeting on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Ammon Medical Education Center on the campus at Christiana Hospital in Newark. For the first time, the videoconference will include participants at a satellite location at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. Like the participants in Newark, Sussex County residents who attend the satellite location will also receive lunch, take part in the chapter's annual meeting and recognition awards ceremony, and enjoy a client-focused discussion about MS research. Cost is $5 per person, and anyone who wants to attend must register by Friday, Oct. 9 either online at or by calling 302-655-5610.