Bring Back Breakfast
Choose the best breakfast: A. Leftover cold cheese pizza and orange juice
B. Peanut butter and banana sandwich and milk
C. Cold cereal with raisins and soy milk
D. Shake made with frozen fruit, milk, juice, and wheat germ
E. Poptarts, a hard-boiled egg, and vegetable juice
If you chose A, B, C, D, or E, then you're correct! The best breakfast is the one that you'll eat regularly (and is relatively well-balanced).
The Neglected MealGone are the days when it was unthinkable to start the day without a good hearty breakfast. Now people have more excuses than they can shake a spatula at for why they cannot or do not eat a morning meal. Do any of these sound familiar?:
- I do not have time
- I am not hungry in the morning
- I am trying to lose weight
- I do not like breakfast foods
- When I eat breakfast, I am more hungry mid-morning
The Case for BreakfastWe have all heard it—breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you know what, it is true. Here are some reasons why: Breakfast is the time to refuel. After fasting for the 8-12 hours after dinner and during sleep, your body needs to replenish its energy supply. The brain is especially in need of a fill-up, because it has no place to store its main energy source, glucose, which comes from the foods we eat. Without eating you won’t be able to think or concentrate. Muscles also rely on glucose for a portion of their energy. Eating breakfast is associated with better attitudes about work and school. People who pass on a morning meal are often tired, irritable, or restless in the morning.Eating breakfast regularly is associated with maintaining a healthful weight. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat at snack time and other meals throughout the day.Breakfast can add to the healthfulness of your diet. Breakfast food can be an important source of the following nutrients in your diet:
No More ExcusesNow it's time to let go of those excuses.I do not have time. A little planning may help. Make use of what you have and focus on foods you like. Most foods can be warmed in the microwave.
- Have quick foods on hand:
- Dry cereal, have a variety of types for mixing
- Single-serving containers of yogurt
- English muffins or whole wheat bread or bagels
- Fresh, canned, or dried fruit
- Instant oatmeal
- Spend a little time on the weekend or a week night preparing easy-to-grab foods for the week:
- Make your own muffins, breads, or granola
- Hard-boil several eggs
- Make pancake batter and keep it in the fridge; in the morning, ladle some on the griddle and top with fresh fruit
- The night before, whirl together a breakfast shake—milk/yogurt, fruit, ice, and wheat germ—and store in the fridge
- Pack foods that you can eat on the commute or at your desk:
- A Ziploc bag of dry cereal or trail mix
- Cereal bar or granola bar
- Can of vegetable juice
- Breakfast sausage
- Hash browns
- Biscuits with gravy
- Doughnuts and pastries
- Foods with lots of cheese
- Last night's leftovers and a piece of fruit
- Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
- English muffin with peanut butter and banana
- Bagel topped with avocado spread and sliced fresh tomato
- Cheese, crackers, and fruit
- Tomato soup and crackers
- Pizza, hot or cold, with orange juice
- Pita stuffed with low-fat cheese and salsa
- Cottage cheese with fresh or canned fruit and graham crackers
- Smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber on a bagel
- Baked potato topped with cottage cheese or salsa
Back to BreakfastEating a healthful breakfast helps prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. If you regularly skip breakfast, use these suggestions to get yourself back on track.
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dietitians of Canada
Breakfast. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health website. Available at: http://www.jhsph.edu/offices-and-services/student-affairs/%5Fdocuments/Breakfast. Accessed October 13, 2014.
Obesity in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 1, 2014. Accessed October 13, 2014.
The case for eating breakfast. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/pages/The-Case-for-Eating-Breakfast.aspx. Updated October 9, 2014. Accessed October 13, 2014.
The importance of breakfast. University of Florida website. Available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fm174. Accessed October 13, 2014.
The importance of eating a good breakfast. Kaiser Permanente website. Available at: http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/Images/Importance%20of%20Eating%20a%20Good%20Breakfast%20(6909-E)%5Ftcm75-14514.pdf. Accessed October 13, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 10/13/2014