Have you noticed that carbs are king in the morning? Pancakes, toast, jelly, waffles, maple syrup, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, hash browns, cereal, oatmeal, granola, cream of wheat, pop tarts, juice…
Some would say that breakfast is a good time to eat carbs because they give you energy. As the mom of an ADHD kid, I’m going to challenge that belief…for school mornings at least :-)…and this doesn’t just go for ADHD kids. Why pump kids full of energy just in time for them to sit still, shut up and listen?
Breakfast is a good time to eat more protein because it jump starts dopamine production and increases focus. Also, it doesn’t come with the sugar high and crash of a high-carb meal. Blood-sugar roller coasters make it hard to sit still and concentrate at school.
There are only a few types of breakfast foods that would qualify as proteins: eggs, yogurt, milk, sausage, and bacon. Maybe ham. Of those, kids with ADHD could have sensitivities to the eggs, milk products and nitrites in cured meat (uncured breakfast meat is an option, but usually expensive).
After months racking my brain for breakfast ideas, I turned to the ADHD and Autism Cookbook for inspiration. Do you know what it said? I’m paraphrasing, but it said you don’t have to make breakfast food so breakfasty.
Duh. Why have I been so legalistic about breakfast? Who died and deemed these the only foods worthy of the A.M. hours? You can eat anything you want for breakfast. Last night’s dinner, a chicken salad, sky’s the limit.
Last night as I was making taco meat for casserole my son requested no rice this time. You mean, cut down the carbs? OK! I gladly cooked it for him, added a little corn to blow his mind, and he ate the whole thing. All of it. By himself.
“Do you like taco meat?”
Big eyeballs, approving nod.
“Do you want it in the morning for breakfast?”
TACO MEAT FOR BREAKFAST
• 16oz ground turkey or beef
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
• 2 Tbsps cumin
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp dried cilantro
• 1/8 tsp pepper
Sprinkle salt if desired
– – – – –
Cook the ground meat and onion on medium heat in a covered medium-sized pan until meat is brown and onion is soft. Break the meat apart into small chunks. Do not strain. Add corn and seasoning, stir until blended. Cover and remove from heat. Allow the meat to heat the corn (only takes a couple minutes), then remove cover and let cool a couple more minutes before serving.