We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The health benefits range from kick starting your metabolism to improving mood and memory, and increasing attention span. Students who eat breakfast perform better at school, have better concentration and have more energy to make it through the day. When you eat breakfast, you are more likely to consume a lower amount of calories throughout the day. Your body works more effectively when you eat throughout the day and don’t let yourself get overly hungry. Consuming lower calories will help you maintain or lose weight. Research has shown people who don’t eat breakfast are at a higher risk of being overweight, which leads to a greater risk for other diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Getting kids to start eating breakfast at a young age has also been shown to improve overall healthy eating habits throughout life.
What counts as a breakfast? Eating something within a few hours of waking is best. It does not have to be a large meal. Try to include 2-3 food groups to help meet your daily nutrient needs. Here are some tips and suggestions to get your day started off with a nutrient-packed breakfast:
- Breakfast is a great way to get fiber rich foods: whole grain toast, fresh fruit or oatmeal are all quality options.
- Eating fruits and vegetables at each meal will help you get your 5+ servings per day, so make sure to grab a banana, apple or some 100% fruit or veggie juice (keep juice to a 4 oz serving).
- Most people say they are too busy to eat in the morning. Breakfast is the easiest meal to grab on the go. Whole grain cereal and skim milk, low fat Greek yogurt and fresh berries, a low sugar granola bar, or whole grain breakfast bar with fresh fruit can be eaten quickly or at your desk.
- Get those veggies! Make an omelet or egg sandwich and add spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms or peppers.
- Shake it up! Breakfast smoothies are easy to make and can contain fresh, frozen or canned fruits. Add protein with a scoop of protein powder, peanut butter or Greek yogurt.
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