On Christmas morning, breakfast is not a priority for youngsters. But if a special dish is served, it will be remembered as part of the family tradition.
Christmas is all "about coming together and sharing stories and creating special memories," said registered dietitian Janine Faber of Cincinnati. And it can all begin with breakfast.
Preparing breakfast dishes in advance is the key to providing a healthful beginning to a very busy holiday. Faber, a healthy-living advisor for Meijer, explains how we can take our holiday favorites and turn them into healthful meals.
She has retooled one of her family's favorite holiday recipes.
"It's a casserole we have for Christmas brunch every year," Faber said. "We originally started with a 9-by-13 pan with regular sausage, regular cheese and white bread. We changed it around, and now we use turkey sausage and 2 percent milk and cheddar cheese, whole-wheat bread for extra fiber, and egg substitute.
"It's nice to make the day ahead because it has to be refrigerated for at least eight hours," she said. "You pop it in the oven for about 50 minutes, while the family is opening presents."
The holidays are busy for everyone, but starting the day with a healthful meal is important.
"Starting off without breakfast is like starting a car without gas," Faber said. "We tend to lack getting the nutrients the body needs. Those who eat breakfast take in fewer calories than those who skip breakfast."
Especially on a holiday when there are cookies, pies, cakes and eggnog around throughout the day, it's important to offer a nutritious breakfast choice.