For all the excuses anyone could dream up with for not eating breakfast, there must be ten times as many delicious ways to start the day. Mention breakfast and some people may think of brightly colored cold cereal floating in a bowl of milk. Others may think of the traditional eggs and toast (and maybe a few slices of bacon) and maybe some conjure a fast and nutritious smoothie to help them wake up. Whatever type of food you choose, know that it is a smart decision to start your day by eating something to replenish your body and give you energy for the day ahead. It seems that breakfast habits start to form in childhood. So it’s likely that if you grew up eating a bowl of oatmeal, a glass of milk and some fruit, you might still sit down to a substantial first meal. If you are one of those children that were on the go with mom or dad and did a stop at the drive-thru on the way to school, you may still think breakfast is not that important or that fast food is sufficient way to start your day. According to the American Dietetic Association, however, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground. They have better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Once the decision is made to start (or continue) with a healthy breakfast, the next question will be “What’s for breakfast?” Although there is a myriad of colorful cold cereals and canned liquid drinks flooding the grocery aisle, most are sugary and not filling. Taking a walk around the store’s perimeter will reveal some good choices. Adding a little lean protein to your breakfast may be just the boost you need to help keep you feeling full until lunchtime. Some lean choices for breakfast proteins include: eggs, turkey bacon, yogurt, cottage cheese and low-fat dairy or soy milk.
While a healthy breakfast provides important nutrition and a welcome energy boost, it also has positive long-term effects. Skipping breakfast usually results in eating more throughout the day. People who eat breakfast get their metabolism humming and tend not to consume as many calories during the entire day. As a result, they wind up weighing less than those who skip breakfast.
Points to remember:
- Eating breakfast prevents mood swings and irritability associated with mid-morning hunger.
- In the long-term, people who eat breakfast are more successful at maintaining a healthy weight
- People who eat breakfast have a higher intake of important vitamins and minerals and lower cholesterol levels.
- Studies have shown that students and employees perform better if they’ve had breakfast.
Here is a quick and portable smoothie recipe (if necessary):
Banana Honey Breakfast Blast (recipe from MrBreakfast.com)
- 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (or regular reduced fat milk)
- 2 large bananas
- 1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla — frozen works great)
- 1/4 cup clover honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for 30 seconds. Get it good and smooth and then serve with a little sprinkle of ground nutmeg for looks (3 servings).