This article is presented in partnership with the Missouri Beef Council

We all know beef is what’s for dinner. But what about breakfast and lunch, too? Leanne Cope, a high school science teacher in Aurora, likes to serve her own children beef for breakfast to make sure they get a healthy portion of protein to start the day.

The importance of protein is often overlooked at breakfast, Leanne says, especially for children embarking on a full day of school. Beef can provide that protein boost in the morning meal, along with many other vitamins and much-needed minerals.

“Protein helps students feel full longer, so they’re not distracted by hunger and thinking about lunchtime,” Leanne says. As a teacher, she knows how important it is for students to be able to focus. A serving of beef will keep kids satisfied, even after several hours, and give kids prolonged energy through the day.

Beef helps meet the need for vitamins B6 and B12, which help the brain function, according to the Missouri Beef Council. And for growing children, beef also provides iron and zinc, which help with the immune system and early development, according to

“Beef does a really good job with its great source of protein,” Leanne says. “In the morning, we will start out with a steak-and-egg burrito, which helps them get by until lunch.”

But, she doesn’t stop with breakfast. With an array of easy recipes from the Missouri Beef Council, Leanne says it is easy to implement beef for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Leanne and her husband, Glen, are cattle producers in Stone and Barry Counties, where Glen’s family has been farming for four generations. Leanne uses beef as the central protein in menus for the entire family.

“There are a lot of great recipes out there, which include an array of 30-minute recipes that work well for those in a hurry,” she says. “I will make meatballs ahead of time, partition them out and freeze them.”

For those wondering about what type of beef to choose, Leanne says it depends on the recipe. She adds that consumers should not worry too much about how the beef came to market (grass-fed versus conventionally raised cattle). Many grass-fed cattle receive grain as well, although they also have access to pasture and grass, she says.

As students get ready for another school year, Leanne urges Missourians to think about beef for breakfast.

To find kid-friendly recipes and more information about the role beef can play in supplying healthy protein, visit and

Mu Shu Steak & Apple Wraps

Ingredients >

  • 4 beef Tri-Tip Steaks, cut 1-inch thick (about 4 ounces each)
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey Salt (optional)
  • 3 cups tri-color coleslaw mix (with green and red cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 medium whole-wheat flour tortillas (8- to 10- inch diameter), warmed

Directions >

  1. Combine cinnamon and pepper; press evenly onto beef steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place steaks in skillet; cook 9 to 12 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
  2. Combine hoisin sauce and honey in large bowl. Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt, if desired. Add steak slices, coleslaw mix, and apple to hoisin mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Place equal amounts of beef mixture down center of each tortilla, leaving 1½- inch border on right and left sides. Fold bottom edge up over filling. Fold right and left sides to center, overlapping edges; secure with wooden picks, if necessary.