February is Hot Breakfast Month + Tofu Scramble Recipe

There are few things I enjoy more than giving my 6-year-old-son Mateo a healthy, filling breakfast before school. I aim to provide him with the calories he needs in order to sustain the energy levels of a growing boy. I must admit that I also eat breakfast in the morning just to be sure I have the energy to keep up with him!  

We are repeatedly reminded about the importance of breakfast for both our mental and physical health. February is Hot Breakfast Month and serves as an opportunity to educate kids on the importance of eating a healthy breakfast year-round. 

The purpose of Hot Breakfast Month is to encourage people to start their day with a meal that’s a bit more substantial than a simple bowl of cereal. Christy C. Tangney, PhD, a clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center and an expert on the effects of diet and nutrition on heart health, said that “much of the research just makes good common sense. If you start with a healthy, satisfying meal in the morning you're less apt to nibble on less nutritious things during the day, which we often do out of hunger.” 

Breakfast is also an easy way to get a jump start on the necessary daily nutrients that so many of us are missing from our diets.  Experts from the Medscape Journal of Medicine found that “few American adolescents or adults reported consuming the recommended amounts of fruits or vegetables.” 

Choose from a variety of plant-based foods for breakfast and you’ll set yourself up for hitting your family’s health goals! It can be as simple as swapping out the heavy bacon and eggs with a colorful warm bowl of oatmeal with a variety of fruit and mixed nuts. Developing a healthier diet is as easy as practicing the Three Rs: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products with plant-based foods and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources using higher animal welfare standards. Whatever approach is best for you and your family, one thing is for sure: a belly full of a wholesome, nutritious breakfast is a great way to start the day.

Mateo’s favorite tofu scramble:
(Makes 2-3 servings)
  • 1-14 oz. package of extra firm tofu drained (not pressed) and then mashed
  • 2 handfuls of spinach rinsed and chopped
  • 4 oz. your favorite mushrooms (I use crimini) rinsed and chopped
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the mashed tofu in a nonstick skillet for about 5-7 mins. (No oil needed. The tofu and mushrooms add enough moisture).  Using a spatula, stir to heat thoroughly and prevent sticking.

2. Add in the rest of ingredients and continue to cook until the mushrooms are heated all the way through.

3. Taste and add more seasoning to your preference.

4. Serve warm and wait for a standing ovation from your family!

What I love most about this recipe is that you can make it your own. Switch up the veggies, add basil or your other favorite seasoning and serve it with a half of avocado, pancakes or tofu bacon!

Leolin Bowen is the Midwest outreach coordinator in Food & Nutrition for The Humane Society of the United States. You can follow her on Twitter @LeolinBowen

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