By Guest Blogger Ginny Whan, Triad McDonald’s owner/operator and mom

Did you know that breakfast is one of the easiest ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle in your family? Just like any family, it’s easy for mine to forgo breakfast in order to get everyone out of the house on time. However, breakfast is a great way to make sure that once everyone is out of the house they are at their best.

According to, 20 to 30 percent of all school-age children completely give up the morning meal. Of those kids, girls and older teens are more likely to skip. As children juggle homework, extracurricular activities and/or part-time jobs, it’s not surprising that kids would rather sleep in than make time for breakfast.

However, we all know that a tummy filled with food in the morning means more brain power for our kids as they are, according to different studies, more likely to have better concentration, problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination. They are also more likely to not have a mid-morning drop in mood and energy. This is prevented by eating breakfast, which has been linked to the improved mood and a greater likelihood of getting the fiber, calcium and other important nutrients throughout the day and not consuming empty calories, which can be a struggle for a lot of us.

Nutritionists suggest that a good breakfast consists of protein, fruits, whole grains or vegetables, or at least foods from three of these groups. While portions may vary because of age, activity and dietary goals, it is recommended that our plates have about 25 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent fruits and vegetables.

Like most families, we are in a constant rush to get out of the house in the mornings and have to grab food on the go and it’s important to have wholesome options. My family has been working with McDonald’s throughout a great deal of my life and I’m proud that today – more than ever – we have more breakfast options for those crazy mornings. My personal favorite is the Egg White Delight McMuffin. Not only does this sandwich have eight grams of whole grain and18 grams of protein, it’s only 250 calories. If a McMuffin’s not your thing, McDonald’s has several light options that won’t weigh you down as you head out to face the world. They will, however, give you the fuel you need to be as productive as possible. Some of our favorites under 400, like the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait (150 calories), the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal (290 calories) or a Sausage Burrito (300 calories) are some other great choices that satisfy and don’t break the bank.

As much as our kids may disagree (especially teenagers), they are looking to us for the example, so I’m making it a point to say YES to breakfast whether that be at home or on the go.

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