Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Importance of healthy breakfasts for daily life and sports: Recipe for Fruit and Honey Oatmeal breakfast

My four year old son loves to play hockey and other sports, but I haven't yet put him into anything other than preschool programs so he can get a feel for different sports.  I wanted to share the story and tips from Linda Staal, an expert mom of four professional hockey players.  Many hockey families will find this information to be very helpful as they try to make tournament weekends to work smoothly for everyone.

Linda emphasizes that we make time for family meals so we can stay connected i.e. preparing oats in the slow cooker overnight so it is ready for breakfast.  Encouraging our children to have fun and feel good about their accomplishments without judging success by the scoreboard is important, and this is something that we as parents need to take to heart so we can keep our children motivated in everything they do.  Linda suggests that families should pack a hockey survival kit that have snacks like Quaker granola bars and fruits for everyone to snack.  Her children pack their favourite pillows and blankets for long car rides, which is something my family does as well so we feel comfortable.  I agree with Pearle Nerenberg, a sports dietitian's idea of packing a cooler and kettle along with oatmeal packages, dried fruits and nuts when we travel.  These make it convenient for us to make nutritious meals and save money when we are on the road by avoiding fast food and hotel food expenses.

Linda's children started playing hockey since they were four and she found that being organized was very useful so she can manage everyone's schedules.  Like Linda, I too believe that having a healthy sleep and a nutritious breakfast makes a good start for our day.  I think Quaker Oats is one of the healthiest meals we can have to kick start a functional day.  
Linda and her family is committed to being balanced and healthy that they have recently established the Staal Family Foundation to support families in need that want to provide recreational activities for their children.      

A little more about the 130 year old trusted Quaker brand that helps people get the best start to their day.  Quaker brand is focused on the power of whole grain oats to provide a nutritious energy that will help all of us have a productive day.  Quaker products are made with 100% Canadian oats and their major production location is in Peterborough, Ontario.  Quaker brand produces honest and pure products.  Over the years they have pursued unique milling methods that provide wholesome nourishments that are convenient.  Quaker supports ONEXONE and Breakfast for Learning and Food Banks Canada has they believe that every Canadian has the right to access a nutritious breakfast.  The 2010 Health Canada study shows that oat fibres helps us reduce cholesterol, risk factors for heart diseases and have other benefits such as lowering cholesterol.  For example 1/3 cup Quick Quaker Oats or Quaker large flake oats provide 40% of the daily amount of fibre we need.
Here is a healthy Fruit and Honey Oatmeal breakfast idea that serves four, from Quaker.


2 cups oats uncooked
3 1/2 cups water 

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 peach or other fresh fruit

Bring water, dried cranberries, honey and cinnamon to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium and add quick oats.  Cook the oats for 1 minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Let stand until desired consistency then top with sliced peach or other fresh fruit and serve hot.

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