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Raise the Bar on Breakfasts To-Go

Think outside the bowl. 7 easy, portable ways to put the nutritional power of cereal in the palm of your hand when you’re in a hurry.

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The most important meal of the day is breakfast, right? Then why do so many of us — one out of every 10, according to a 2011 study by market research company NPD Group — skip it entirely?

According to the study, the reasons for skipping range from “not hungry” to “didn’t feel like it” to “too busy,” and adult women were more likely to miss the morning meal because of time constraints. 

Sound familiar? 

Eating a nutritious breakfast not only provides the energy you need to get to lunchtime, it can help you manage your weight and may even help combat heart disease. (Need more convincing? Read The Case for Breakfast and breakfast-the-meal-the-mind-set-and-the-midline.) But you’ve got places to go and people to see; that all-important meal often gets sacrificed. So, what’s a busy woman to do? 

Consider cereal: Pour it in a bowl, add milk and it’s ready to eat. Plus, the right ones (think: Cheerios, Chex or Fiber One’s new 80-calorie chocolate squares) provide a tasty dose of nutrients, whole grains and fiber without being laden with calories. There are days, though, when even the most coordinated among us can’t make it out the door juggling a purse, gym bag, computer bag, et al. – all while eating a bowl of cereal. 

Enter the cereal bar. This portable meal is not only convenient, it packs flavor, crunch and nutrition into a hand-held portion. Bars can easily be made and portioned ahead of time; most recipes require no baking and take just a few minutes to assemble. Start with one of these recipes and customize by mixing and matching cereals, dried fruit, nuts or seeds to your heart’s content. (Just be sure to consider the fat, sugar and sodium content of any add-ins.) When all those good-for-you ingredients come together, it’s that much easier to get out the door on time – and it doesn’t hurt to have something delicious to look forward to when the alarm goes off.

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