Amanda Smith
August 14, 2014

How many times a week do you find yourself serving the same old bowl of cereal for breakfast? Or how about those sugary boxed toaster pastries? Carbs are essential to wake up your brain in the morning, but unfortunately many Americans are eating the wrong kinds of carbs for breakfast.

Simple carbohydrates, like those from refined breads and sugars, are a quick source of energy, but digest very quickly in the body, leaving you hungry again before noon. Complex carbohydrates, like those from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, provide your body with more of the nutrients it needs and keep you full longer. Many complex carbs from plant foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which processed simple carbs lack.

Okay, so there isn't necessarily a bevy of healthy breakfast options out there, but you want to make sure your family is eating well. After all, numerous studies have shown that kids who eat balanced breakfasts are better able to concentrate in school, helping them get better grades in the long run (read more in this article from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). So what's a busy parent to do?

Baked Oatmeal

The good news: Oatmeal is a healthy, whole-grain option that kids love. Plus, there are so many ways to dress up a plain bowl of oatmeal, so you can have it a different way any day of the week! Take our Baked Oatmeal, for example. One of our most popular recipes from Cooking Light, this dish is a mix between an oatmeal bar and traditional creamy breakfast oatmeal. It only takes 20 minutes to bake, so you can pop it in the oven while you're getting ready and enjoy a warm, hearty bowl before heading out the door. Watch our how-to video below to help you get started. A better breakfast is that easy![youtube

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More oatmeal inspiration:

Apple Cider Oatmeal with Pecans

Peaches-and-Cream Refrigerator Oatmeal

Steel-Cut Oats with Warm Berry Compote

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