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National Restaurant Association - Fun, delicious and nutritious ways to start the year

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Fun, delicious and nutritious ways to start the year

For many of us, holidays mean joyous gatherings with friends and family – and often, indulgence in delicious holiday treats. Dealing with the aftermath of those not-so-moderate indulgences can be as much fun as a lump of coal. Restaurateurs can help their patrons get back on track by offering wise choices throughout the day. These nourishing tips can help.

Start their day with breakfast.  According to an analysis by the NPD Group, about 31 million people (one in 10 Americans) typically don’t eat or drink anything before 11 a.m. Breakfast is important, though. It’s the first time the body gets nutrients after an extended fast. And people who eat breakfast tend to eat better and are more physically active[i].

Tasty tips:

  • Go with the grain. Offer more whole-grain choices such as cereal, waffles, pancakes and breakfast sandwiches.  
  • Try parfaits. Feature parfaits made with Greek yogurt, fruit and whole-grain granola. Top these with optional nuts, flax or chia seeds.
  • Size it right. Feature lighter breakfast combos under 500 calories, including on-the-go breakfast sandwiches and beverages.

Snack right.  The snack daypart is gaining attention and sales, especially among younger customers. Snack time gives restaurateurs an opportunity to focus on foods that provide nutrients people don’t get enough of during the holidays or at meals. These include fiber from grains, potassium from fruits and vegetables and calcium and vitamin D from dairy products[ii][iii].

Tasty tips: Serve up these sought-after snacks as appetizers or small plates.

  • Fresh fruit. Serve with sidecars of fruit-infused Greek-yogurt dipping sauce.
  • Potato or tortilla chips. Serve whole-grain, lightly salted chips “nacho style” --  smothered with black beans, salsa and low-fat cheese.
  • Sandwiches. Offer chicken and whole-grain-waffle sandwiches. As a twist, feature veggie ‘chicken’ nuggets instead of chicken. 
  • On-the-go items: Feature on-the-go snacks near your checkout counter such as protein and cereal bars, fruit cups and parfaits, veggie sticks with dip and homemade trail mix[iv].

Go veggie. Consumers want to eat more vegetables but often don’t because they think it’s inconvenient or they don’t find vegetables appealing. Serve dishes that incorporate vegetables in unique and delicious ways.

Tasty tips:

  • Make a garden pizza. Toss vegetarian meat crumbles on a pizza loaded with veggies like pepper, onion and tomato slices.
  • Try a sneak attack. Blend veggies into the pasta sauce for kids – the same trick mom uses to get kids to eat vegetables at home. Serve over noodles or as a fun dipping sauce.
  • Get creative with soup. Feature cold gazpacho, hearty lentil and butternut squash soups. Top them off with whole-grain crackers.

Think versatility. Restaurants can meet the needs of both kids and parents by offering the versatility of favorite pantry staples, such as cereal, in unique, trendy and nutritious ways.

Tasty tip:

  • Try an all-day cereal bar. Cereal’s popularity is growing beyond the breakfast daypart. Versatility could mean adding savory ingredient toppers to whole-grain cereals. A few ideas:
  • Kickin’ Crunch. Try Kellogg’s® Special K® cereal topped with Greek yogurt, chopped avocado and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
  • Grown-up trail-mix bowl: Mix Kellogg’s Raisin Bran® with cranberries, Greek yogurt, chocolate covered espresso beans and almonds.
  • Pistachio-lemon: Offer Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® with milk, pistachios sprinkled with lemon zest and thyme.

This content was provided by Kellogg Company, a sponsor of the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell program. Check out StirUpBreakfast.Kelloggs.com for more ideas.

[i] O’Neil CE, Byrd-Bredbenner C, Hayes D, Jana L, Klinger SE, Stephenson-Martin S. The Role of Breakfast in Health: Definition and Criteria for a Quality Breakfast.  JAND .2014; 114 (3): S8-21

[ii] Kellogg Company internal report. “Snacking Report: NHANES 2009-2010/2011-2012 Data.”

[iii] Nielsen. “Snack Attack: What Consumers are Reaching for Around the World.” 2014.

[iv] NPD Group. “Bites of Insights: On-the-Go Snacking.” Vol. 35, October 2014.


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