One of the best things you can do for your kids is start them off with a healthy breakfast.

But sometimes the chaos of trying to get them out the door in the morning makes this a challenge. This meal is designed to minimize that complication.

Assembled entirely the night before, this warm and satisfying breakfast casserole has all the makings of a great start to the day - whole-grains, lean protein, even some fruit. All you have to do in the morning is turn on the oven and pop the casserole in for a few minutes.

And consider saving a piece for yourself to rewarm for lunch with a salad.

Whole-grain Apple and Ham Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:

•4 ounces deli-sliced ham, chopped

•3 apples, peeled, cored and diced

•6 slices whole-grain bread, cubed

•1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

•8 egg whites

•3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half

•1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

The night before, in a medium casserole dish toss together the ham, apples, bread cubes and cheese. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat together the egg whites and fat-free half-and-half. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and meat. Use a fork to gently press the bread to help it absorb the liquid. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the casserole. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate until morning.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake the casserole, covered, for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.

Servings: 8

Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories; 30 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 2 g fiber; 440 mg sodium.