As kids and parents adjust their daily routines for the new school year, breakfast is the one thing we know is essential to include. Overnight, our metabolism slows down, and eating breakfast in the morning helps signal our body to get started. And that’s just one of the reasons Lisa Cimperman, RD, clinical dietitian at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But with limited time and questionable appetites in the morning, breakfast can sometimes get compromised. And making time for that morning meal goes a long way for getting kids through the day. Kids who eat breakfast: • Are less likely to be overweight.• Have better attendance rates at school. • Receive essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, vitamin C and fiber, critical components to a healthy diet. • Have an easier time maintaining focus and concentration.Cimperman says whether you have breakfast at home, at work, at school, or on-the-go, make sure to include a source of fiber which can be in the form of whole grains, fruits and/or vegetables, and a source of protein, that includes dairy, nuts and/or eggs. Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas for parents and kids: • Cold cereal is great since it’s often fortified with vitamins and minerals. Look for a cold cereal that has at least three to four grams of fiber per serving and less than eight grams of sugar per serving.• A quarter cup of nuts – any kind – and a piece of fruit make a quick and portable morning snack to go.• Try crock pot oatmeal if you make things ahead. You can also mix steel cut oatmeal with almond milk, cow’s milk, or soy milk and Greek yogurt, soak it overnight and have it ready to go in the morning. • And a twist for kids, try a “banana dog.” Spread peanut butter on a banana, place it in a whole wheat hot dog bun, and kids have a fun morning breakfast they can grab and take with them.

Sound bites from Lisa Cimperman, RD, clinical dietitian at UH Case Medical Center, and related b-roll are available for download on