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From snacks to breakfast: Tips for making healthier food choices

Cropped Photo: Olearys / Wikipedia / CC BY 2.0

Starting your day right is a key to a happy and healthy life.

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 out.

Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health matters.

Check out your nearest grocery store and you'll likely find thousands of choices.

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.

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

The CDC 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 says the amount in some yogurt, flavored oatmeals and milks may surprise you.

"The more ingredients you can pronounce, the better," Buschmann said, and pre-planning will help your family stay healthy.

She says to 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.

"Avocado toast is very trendy right now, but also very good and very nutritious for you," Buschmann said.

She says fruit with peanut butter is an option--to start.

And she says it's never too late to make your grocery store choices healthier.

The FDA is updating what's on "Nutritional Facts" 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 be a while before you see it.

Large food companies have until 2020 to update their packaging

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