You know the old saying breakfast is the most important meal of the day; well it’s right on target. Research shows that regularly eating a healthy breakfast helps with weight management and improves academic performance for children.
When one skips breakfast they are more likely to choose unhealthy options later in the day due to hunger that can come along with skipping meals. Also, when a person skips meals, blood sugar drops which increases insulin response within the body and may result in increased fast storage and weight gain. Think about your metabolism as a fire. You want your fire to continuously burn throughout the day. When our fire burns out because of the lack of fuel (food) our energy is low and our metabolism can decrease. This is why we want to eat breakfast within an hour to an hour and half after we wake up. Breakfast starts our metabolism and gives us the energy we need to move through the day.
Now that we know the importance of breakfast, let’s talk about what a healthy breakfast looks like. A healthy breakfast usually contains these three components:
Whole grains give you energy and fiber, protein helps keep you full and fruit gives you vitamins, antioxidants and more fiber. With this combination of food groups you are sure to stay satisfied and be energized. Here are some examples of nutritious breakfast ideas:
1 whole wheat English muffin + 1 Tablespoon peanut butter + 2 mandarin oranges
2 slices whole wheat bread with 1 Tablespoon raspberry preserves + 4 oz 2% cottage cheese and 1 fruit cup (no sugar added)
1 whole grain sandwich thin (toasted) + 2 oz lean roast beef and 1 thin slice 2% Swiss cheese + ½ cup strawberries
1 frozen whole grain waffle+ 1 Tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese+ banana slices and cinnamon (place on top of waffle)
1 Southwestern egg cup (recipe below) + ½ cup blueberries
Remember that planning is key when it comes to breakfast. Try making large batches of bran muffins or egg cups on Sunday and freeze them until you need them during the week. Enjoy!