Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year to eat better? Or better yet, to get the whole family eating better? Our family did and, for us, that means focusing on low-fat, high protein meals and snacks throughout the day.
Today I want to highlight one of my favorite healthy diet staples for 2014: The egg. Why? Because along with raising energy levels, research shows that a protein-rich breakfast, like eggs, also improves appetite control and leads to increased feelings of fullness, helping you to stick to your health, diet and fitness goals.
Before I get too far into my recent egg obsession, though, let me back up a bit and say that eating with protein in mind fuels the entire family so that we have energy to concentrate at work and school and to get out and play when we’re spending time together. Never have I felt the importance of a protein-rich diet more than I do now, working from home and operating as the primary caregiver for a 3- and 5-year old while being nearly 30 weeks pregnant with baby #3.
It takes a lot of energy to keep up with all that and when I get busy and try to get by without the proper nutrition, I can feel myself start to drag before the morning is even through. Just today, I was trying to get by on coffee and a banana when I realized it was only 9:30 AM and I was already feeling sluggish. The thought popped into my head, “I need protein… I should eat some eggs”.
The convenience of eggs has made them a total staple in my home. Did you know that one egg provides six grams of high-quality protein, which can help active individuals build and preserve muscle, and help adults prevent muscle loss? Not only that, but boil a batch at night and they are a super easy grab ‘n go snack throughout the day.
They also keep remarkably well in a packed lunch. This can be a lifesaver for parents striving for high protein lunches while dealing with increasingly nut-free schools! When my kids start to rebel against yet another cheese sandwich, I slip a couple of boiled eggs into their lunch boxes to get them the protein they need for a productive day.
You know who else loves eggs? Older babies (at least 12 months and older) and young toddlers. My mom friends and I have found that there’s something incredibly enticing about a whole, freshly peeled egg to this age group. Eating a boiled egg to an 18-month old is a full-blown sensory activity. They love to feel the slippery surface and heavy weight of the egg in their hands almost as much as they love chomping down on it.
Finally, let’s not forget the pivotal role eggs play in the ultimate quick and easy – but still nutritious – family meal: breakfast for dinner. Probably once a week my family sits down to a do-it-yourself steel cut oatmeal bar (the kids love adding their own fresh berries, slivered almonds, brown sugar and milk) along with a big side of protein-rich eggs. Sometimes they’re simply scrambled and other times we sneak veggies and cheese into an omelet to really up the nutritional benefits.
For more great ideas on how to incorporate eggs into your family’s diet, visit IncredibleEgg.org and Incredible Eggs on Facebook for convenient and nutritious recipe ideas to help you get a healthy, fresh start in 2014.
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