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Start the Day Right - Italian Style

Start the Day Right - Italian Style

Getting kids up in the morning for school can be hard enough. Getting them to eat a substantial breakfast can be even harder. But studies show that children who eat a well-balanced breakfast every day typically do better in the classroom, perform better on the field, and exhibit better concentration and hand-eye coordination. Studies also show that skipping breakfast can lead to higher cholesterol, weight gain, and even diabetes later in life. The reasons?

First off, a well-balanced breakfast gives you the energy and nutrients you need to start your day right. Math class becomes that much easier when your brain has the right kind of proteins and carbs to fuel it. When you skip breakfast, you’re also more likely to snack on unhealthy foods during the day or to overeat at the next meal. Not only can that cause weight gain, but it can also create unhealthy highs and lows of glucose (or blood sugar). To compensate, your body produces more insulin. Overtime, the high insulin levels can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

So serving kids breakfast may be one of the best things you can do for them right now and in the years to come. But while you may know all the facts about feeding them properly, sometimes the real struggle is finding healthy foods they will actually eat. Enough with the sugary cereal. Try one of these fun, balanced recipes that turn boring old breakfast into delicious Italian adventures. They won’t even know they’re eating breakfast with these savory bites. Serve with fresh fruit or yogurt.

 

Mini Frittatas

Kids love “dip-able” foods. This fast recipe makes a lot. Cut the recipe in half or save some in the fridge or freezer for tomorrow’s breakfast or an after school snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk (or 2% for lower fat content)
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 5 oz. honey ham, thinly sliced and chopped
  • ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease two mini muffin tins. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, pepper and salt until well blended. Add ham, basil, and cheese and stir until well combined. Pour egg mixture into muffin tins, filling to just below the rim. Bake frittatas for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops begin to puff. Heat Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Carefully remove frittatas, plate, and serve with a side of pasta sauce for dipping.

 

Breakfast Pizza

What kid doesn’t want to eat pizza for breakfast? To make this one faster, use pre-prepared pizza crust (if you want to make the dough yourself, though, follow this recipe).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
  • 1 pre-prepared roll of pizza dough
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (or 2% for lower fat content)
  • 5 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 7 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. ham, thinly sliced into strips
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 4 breakfast sausage links, sliced (optional)
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a pizza pan and lay out pizza crust. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and salt and pepper. Gently pour over the center of the crust and spread it to the edges. Add one cup of Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce on top of egg layer, using a spoon to spread evenly. Add cheese and meat as desired. Bake on center rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and egg is cooked. Remove and top with basil. Allow to cool five minutes before slicing and serve with heated Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce for extra dipping.

 

Breakfast Calzone

 This is the perfect meal for kids on the go. Wrap it up in a napkin and give it to them as they board the bus. Once again, use pre-prepared crust for an easy, quick meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce
  • 1 pre-prepared roll of pizza dough
  • 4-5 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk (or 2% for lower fat content)
  • ½ to 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Sliced pepperoni (as much as desired)
  • 4 tsp. Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a pizza pan and lay out crust, creating a 14X10 rectangle. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, milk, and salt and pepper until well combined. Add olive oil. In a medium skillet, cook egg mixture until eggs are set but moist (about 3 to 4 minutes). Slice dough into 4 evenly shaped rectangles. Add mozzarella to one side of each rectangle, leaving ½ inch of space on the edge. Add pepperoni, Pecorino Romano, and eggs. Fold empty side of dough over toppings and press the edges closed firmly. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Heat Monte Bene Tomato Basil pasta sauce. Remove calzones from oven and serve with pasta sauce for dipping. For an on the go meal, add 1 to 2 cups of pasta sauce inside the calzone and bake a few minutes longer.

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