Now that children are back in school, morning time can be very hectic. Amid the busy routine of getting
everyone up, ready, and off to school, it is easy to skip breakfast. But as you’ve probably heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Why is breakfast so important? Most people experience an eight- to-12 hour fast between the last time they eat at night and breakfast the next day. After this amount of time, your brain needs fuel for energy. It needs to break the fast. "Break fast." Breakfast.
Skipping breakfast can lead to over-eating later in the day. Have you ever skipped breakfast and found yourself hungry mid-morning? What kinds of foods do you go for at this time? Many people go for candy, chips, cookies or doughnuts. Maybe you’re not hungry until lunch or dinnertime but when that hunger hits, it is hard to control. When you are really hungry, portion size and eating slowly go out the window. That’s not good because a fast pace of eating and/or eating large portions can lead to weight gain.
A healthy breakfast provides fuel needed by the brain. Without fuel the brain can’t work properly and the result is becoming tired, irritable and less alert than people who start their day by eating a healthy breakfast. In fact, studies have shown that both adults and children concentrate better and work more efficiently if they eat breakfast.
Here are some tips and suggestions to help you choose healthy breakfast items that add fuel to your day and provide complex carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of fat.
Basics to have on hand:
whole grains breads and cereals
eggs, lean meat, legumes and nuts
Low fat dairy:
low fat yogurt, and low fat cheeses such as cottage cheese and natural cheeses
Fruits and vegetables
: fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables and 100% juice without added sugars
Ideas for a healthy and quick breakfast:
- Whole grain cereal topped with a small banana and low fat milk
- Peanut butter rolled in a whole wheat/low carb tortilla and a small piece of fruit
- A smoothie with blended milk, fruit and bran
- Oatmeal with fruit and walnuts
- Low fat yogurt topped with granola
- Boiled egg, whole wheat toast and a small piece of fresh fruit
- A whole grain bagel topped with low fat cream cheese and topped with slices of fresh fruit.
I hope this is helpful to you as you and your family find the morning breakfast routine that works best for everyone.