Share Breakfast

Last week, I saw Taye Diggs on Good Morning America saying to tweet something to provide breakfast for kids in need. I usually watch The Today Show these days so I had to go online to figure out what exactly he was talking about. Kellogg’s will provide up to $250,000 (or 1.25 million school breakfast) for every share, pin, tweet, or YouTube related video watched. The promotion doesn’t end until April 15, 2013 so I hope you will help. Be sure to use the hashtag #sharebreakfast on Twitter to be sure your efforts are counted.

Why is this so important? Because children are hungry and it impacts their learning. I know because I saw it with my own eyes when I was an AmeriCorps Member. At the end of my college days, I was hired as an AmeriCorps Member for the Comprehensive School Health Initiative/Nebraska Reads program in Lincoln, NE. I mentored and tutored children ages K-6 and helped coordinate an afterschool/summer program for at risk youth. Every day, I worked with smart kids who struggled to focus on their classwork because they were hungry. The easy solution seems like getting your kids to school early to partake in the school breakfast program. Well, that only works if mom, dad, or whoever their caretaker is gets them to school early enough to eat. For one of my girls, just getting to school when the bell rang at 9AM was a chore. In fact, one day her mother didn’t bring her or her siblings to school until 1:30PM. Yes, you read that correctly. Mom said she overslept in the note to the teachers. And I can tell you, that little girl also missed lunch that day. When I asked if she had anything in her house she could fix herself, this 8 year old informed me “no”.

I wish I could tell you this was a rarity but I know lots of kids in the same boat. It’s part of the reason we provided our kids enrolled in the afterschool program with a healthy snack.  That’s why programs exist today like Harvester’s BackSnack Program. This program helps ensure kids have food (they can prepare) on the weekends when they can’t be at school for breakfast and lunch. It’s also one of the things I worry about kids on days when schools have to close for bad weather.

I came up with a solution for my little girl when I was in AmeriCorps. I started packing granola bars in my backpack for her to eat every day. I wish I could say it was my idea but a fellow AmeriCorps member suggested it. And my super smart little girl was less irritated and was better able to concentrate. We also worked on a goal all year – for her to make it to school every morning for breakfast for one entire month. I’m happy to report, she accomplished the goal a few weeks before the end of our time working together. (Something I hope she was able to carry one after I was gone.) The reward she picked for achieving her goal was ice cream during out time working together – 10:30AM. Now, I’m not a parent but I also know kids shouldn’t eat ice cream for breakfast. My compromise was Strawberry Frozen Yogurt.

I still think about that little girl and all the others I worked with. Her little sister would be a senior in high school this year. My hope is that she and her older sister are in college somewhere now. And I hope I made a positive impact in her life…something she will want to do for others in her future.

Biscuit cupScrambled Egg Biscuit Cups by Betty Crocker
2 c. Bisquick
1/3 c. cheddar cheese
3/4 c. milk
8 eggs
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 T. butter, softened
1/2 c. Parmesan and mozzarella cheese pasta sauce (from 1-lb jar)
3 T. bacon bites
1 tsp. chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, mix Biquick, cheese, and 1/2 c. milk until soft dough ball forms. Knead a couple of times and then shape into a 10 in. log. Cut into 12 pieces and place one in each cup. Press up along the muffin tin sides. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and use the back of a wooden spoon to press air puffs down. Meanwhile, mix eggs, remaining milk, and pepper in another bowl. Melt butter in a skillet. Cook your eggs in the skillet until firm. Fold in pasta sauce and bacon. Remove biscuits from muffin cups and spoon in egg mixture. Sprinkle with chives and bacon bits. Makes 12 servings.

 Nutrition Information (Per Serving): 180 calories (80 from fat), 9g. fat (3.5 saturated fat, 1 g. trans fat), 150 mg cholesterol, 420 mg. sodium, 15 g. carbs, 0 g. fiber, 2 g. sugar, and 8 g. protein.

Notes:

  • I used nonstick cooking spray instead of butter.
  • I also used fat free cheese and pre-cooked bacon. It’s a great way to cut fat grams.
  • I used egg whites substitute for half the eggs. It’s an easy way to cut calories and cholesterol.
  • My Bisquick wasn’t think enough to form a soft ball. I used the last of my box so I didn’t have extra to add to the mix. I went ahead and spooned in balls. It kind of worked but the biscuits were half as tall and stuck to the pan. As a result, I had too much egg mixture. Maybe decrease by one or two eggs (adjust milk accordingly).
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