Oatmeal – A Healthy Way to Kick Start Your Day!

Nothing says “good morning” like a warm bowl of oatmeal. Whether slowly cooked and creamy or blended with fresh fruit in a smoothie, oats provide your body with many benefits. If you’re not eating oatmeal for breakfast, you’re missing out on a delicious way to add fiber and nutrients to your body first thing in the morning.

Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats.

To make sure you include at least three of the four food groups for your breakfast – top your oatmeal with fresh or frozen berries and enjoy a glass of milk on the side! Check out this delicious homemade oatmeal recipe I discovered – Mmmmm!

Warm Banana Bread Oatmeal

Yields 2 servings

1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (about 1 1/2) overripe bananas, mashed (you can slice the leftover 1/2 banana and use for garnish)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup quick oats
2 teaspoons brown sugar

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk, mashed bananas, and spices. Heat the mixture on medium heat. When it starts to boil, add the rolled oats and cook for 5 minutes, stirring ocassionally, or until the oats are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour into a bowl, top each serving with a teaspoon of brown sugar, slices of banana, and enjoy your nice, hot, nutritious breakfast.

Information and Recipe adapted from: www.wholegrainscouncil.org & www.foodnetworks.ca

Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.

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