Eggs:

Eggs are a great source of protein. There are six grams of protein in one egg. It’s important that we get enough protein in our diet and most Americans don’t get enough!

Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, skin, bone, cartilage, blood, enzymes, and hormones. Our immune system is made up of protein as well and it is found nearly everywhere in the body.

In addition to protein, eggs pack a lot of other important nutrients such as choline, vitamin D, B vitamins and antioxidants, to name a few. Choline is important for brain development, function, memory, mood and metabolism.

Vitamin D helps build strong bones and teeth. B vitamins are important for cell metabolism, energy production, and a healthy nervous system. Eggs are a source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are found in the retina of the eye and can help keep the eyes healthy.

Eggs are affordable and versatile, costing around 17 cents per serving. Eggs may be enjoyed in many different ways: hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, deviled, sunny side up, over easy or made into an omelet, frittata, casserole, quiche or egg salad – the list could go on

Below is a recipe for a kid-friendly, quick breakfast. Get creative! Use your favorite vegetables, spices and herbs to personalize this recipe.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

Adapted from wellplated.com

1 cup lightly packed baby spinach, chopped

3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

3/4 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes

10 large eggs

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Pinch ground black pepper, or cayenne for extra kick

1/4 cup crumbled cheese, such as feta or goat plus additional to sprinkle on top

Optional toppings: avocado, salsa, hot sauce, freshly chopped parsley

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Divide spinach, red bell pepper and tomatoes among cups. (They will be about two-thirds full.) In large bowl, briskly whisk together eggs, salt, basil, oregano and black pepper until well-combined. Carefully fill each muffin cup three-quarters of way to top. Sprinkle cheese evenly over tops of cups. Bake 24-28 minutes, until egg muffins are set. Let cool for few minutes and then run butter knife around edges of each muffin to loosen. Remove from pan and enjoy immediately or let cool on wire rack and refrigerate up to three days or freeze up to three months. Yield: 12 muffins.

Eggplant:

Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family. The nightshade family also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. These plants are called nightshades because they grow in shaded locations and bloom at night.

The deep purple version of the eggplant is most popular, but eggplants can also be light purple, green, white or striped. The shape can vary from pear-shaped, cylindrical or oblong, to thin.

Eggplants are a good source of fiber. Fiber is important for helping our digestive system work properly and helps keep us full. The deep purple color of the most popular variety of eggplants is due to antioxidants, which help protect us from disease.

Eggplants are also a source of potassium, important for regulating fluid and electrolyte balance, muscles, nerves, heart function and normal blood pressure. The skin is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Enjoy eggplant with the recipe below:

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Adapted from recipes.sparkpeople.com

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into four half-inch thick slices

4 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 cup pasta sauce

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Optional: fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Brush both sides of eggplant with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on baking sheet and bake until browned and almost tender, 6-8 minutes, turning once. Spread 1 tbsp. pasta sauce on each eggplant slice. Top with shredded cheese. Bake until cheese melts, 3-5 minutes. Serve hot. Yield: 4