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Sinclair Cares: Make healthier choices for breakfast

Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says as many as 12 percent of young kids don't eat it. (SBG)

Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says as many as 12 percent of young kids don't eat it. Even more teenagers skip breakfast.

Shoppers will find thousands of choices at the grocery store, but dietitians say the list of nutrition facts is the place start.

"Breakfast is crucial, especially for students, because it gets their brains charged up and ready to learn in the morning and also gets them energy to fuel throughout their day," said clinical dietician Jess Buschmann.

Buschmann said look out for sugar, specifically, added sugar. It's listed as things like corn syrup, dextrose, and sucrose.

The Centers for Disease Control says Americans get too much added sugar and that can lead to health problems including weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.

Some cereals have a sugary reputation. But Buschmann said the amount in some yogurt, along with flavored oatmeal and milk, may surprise you.

"The more ingredients that you can pronounce the better," Buschmann said.

"You find yourself starting to read the labels and then you get discouraged because sugar is in everything," said one consumer.

Buschmann said pre-planning will help your family. She said list five meals your kids enjoy. Make sure you include at least three food groups in each meal.

Consider whole grains and carbohydrates -- like bread, cereal or fruit -- for quick energy. Protein, like eggs or lean meat, keeps you feeling fuller, longer. Dairy helps builds bones.

"Quick option would be -- a couple things -- avocado toast is very trendy right now but also very good and very nutritious for you," Buschmann said. "You can swap also out an egg."

Still not easy enough? Buschmann said fruit with peanut butter is an option, to start.

"Yes, healthy eating is harder but absolutely not impossible," Buschmann said.

Buschmann said it's never too late to make grocery store choices healthier.

The FDA is updating what's on nutrition labels for foods. Things like the amount of "added sugar" will be included.

The government says the changes will make healthier choices easier to see.

But it could a while before you see it, large food companies have until 2020 to update their packaging.

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