It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, director of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, tells us why that’s especially true for kids and how to ensure they get a healthy breakfast before school. Rose Melendez

Why is eating breakfast such an important part of the day for our children?

Nurse Rose: Eating breakfast is important for all of us, but it’s especially vital for children, who are still developing and growing. Studies have shown that kids who eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast perform better academically,
have a longer attention span and are absent from school less for illness.

How can we make sure to incorporate a healthy breakfast into our kids’ daily routine?

Nurse Rose: As a mom of three, I know that getting kids ready for school early in the morning can be a struggle. These simple tips can help make it easier.

  • Plan ahead. Prepare breakfast in advance the night before by cutting up fruit, hard-boiling eggs or portioning out ingredients. Make meal planning for the week a family Sunday ritual.
  • Wake up earlier. Are you constantly feeling like you’re running out of time in the morning? Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and make your morning meal a priority.

What kinds of food should we be feeding our kids for breakfast?

Nurse Rose: You want to make sure your children get the proper nutrition to start their days and keep them feeling energized. Aim to include three out of the following five food groups.

  • Fruit
  • vegetables
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Protein

For example, a common breakfast in my house is two hard-boiled eggs, a banana and a piece of wheat toast.

Try some of these healthy, kid-friendly breakfasts at home!


Peanut Butter and Fresh Fruit Quesadillas
Serves 6

View Ingredients & Directions


  • 6, 10” flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh peaches, plums or apples
  • 6 tbsp. peanut butter
  • Pan spray as needed


  1. Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and spread 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 1/3 cup cheese, 1/3 cup chopped fruit, 2 tsp. cinnamon sugar across entire surface. Top with second tortilla.
  2. Spray one side liberally with pan spray and lay quesadilla in hot pan. Grill until crisp and brown on one side. Spray top side, turn over quesadilla and brown other side.
  3. Remove from pan and cut in to wedges. Serve hot or cold.

Banana-Almond Overnight Oats
Serves 1

View Ingredients & Directions


  • ½ cup oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. flax or chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 small ripe banana, sliced


  1. Combine all ingredients into jar or sealable Tupperware container
  2. Shake/stir until evenly mixed
  3. Refrigerate and grab to go in the morning! (Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days)

Serves 1

View Ingredients & Directions


  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted ½ avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Boil egg: Place egg in small saucepan. Cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat; when water has reached a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 12 minutes. ** Note: This can be done in advance **
  2. Toast bread
  3. Slice avocado and boiled egg and add to toast
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste


Eating healthy, balanced food is a great way to prevent heart disease and diabetes. Take a fast, FREE online health quiz to see if you have other disease risks:

Additional Health Tips from Rose

Find more family health tips online or tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to hear Rose live.