Breakfast at Valerie's: The Food Network Star Shares Tips and Recipes for the Whole Family
Lifestyle Food Network star, two-time Golden Globe Award-winning actress and New York Times best-selling author Valerie Bertinelli knows first-hand the importance of a healthy breakfast.
The 2-Minute Breakfast
Here are some healthy ideas for breakfast that won’t take longer than brushing your teeth.
People who eat breakfast have more energy, perform better at school and work and think more clearly throughout the day. But a muffin and coffee won’t do the trick. You need a hefty dose of protein and fiber to keep you feeling satiated and energized throughout the morning hours.
Mornings can be hectic. With so many convenient and nourishing options to choose from, it takes minutes to fuel your mind and body. A great option is a frozen breakfast burrito made with high-quality protein, such as egg, beans or tofu and vegetables. Look for one with at least 17 grams of protein and four grams of fiber. Add a bowl of fruit and you have the perfect quick-fix start to the day.
By Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., Author, The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals
Why is it important that parents ensure their kids eat something in the morning?
Little brains, or even big brains for that matter, need nutrition to work the same way our bodies need fuel to move. I always feel better sending Wolfie off to school when I know he’s had a good night’s sleep and a full belly.
What do you like to make sure is part of your own breakfast?
I don’t have rules when it comes to breakfast, except for Bulletproof coffee with collagen protein. I start with a big cup and go from there. Some days I will intermittent fast and other days I’ll have a cup of berries or an over easy egg with uncured, sugar-free bacon. Somedays I have a frittata, or sometimes leftover banana bread. Mainly I do my best to keep the sugar to a minimum. I just hate that sugar crash, it tires me out for the rest of the day.
What are commonly prepared foods that you think parents should avoid?
Those sugary cereals. Your kids will be raring to go, running to the bus stop, but as soon as they get to school, they’ll crash. Fill their bellies with french toast made with whole grain bread and topped with fresh fruit and a little maple syrup. You can also make overnight oats or slow cooker oats with fresh berries, bananas and nuts. Just keep the sugar to a minimum and they’ll be good until lunch.
What advice or recipes do you have for parents that are pressed for time in the morning that may have a lot of mouths to feed?
Let the slow cooker be your friend. I have some great oatmeal recipes available in my new cookbook and online.
Valerie's slow cooker steel cut oats
1½ cups steel-cut oats
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cinnamon stick
Suggested toppings: toasted almonds or coconut, toasted nuts, fresh or dried berries, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, coconut milk, almond milk, dairy milk, yogurt
In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the oats, nutmeg, bananas and cinnamon stick with 7½ cups water and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve the oatmeal with your desired toppings.
Chef’s tip: I also love doing overnight oats in the fridge with coconut or almond milk, as they add sweetness. The great thing is you can mix in whatever ingredients you have on hand and know your kids love!