We all know how important breakfast is…but more than half of American adults do not eat breakfast everyday and it’s estimated that 12 to 34 percent of children and adolescents regularly miss this morning meal. There are many benefits of eating breakfast that you won’t want to miss…here are the highlights:
Breakfast fuels your brain after the overnight fast. That is why it’s called break-fast. Your brain needs the energy and you benefit! Kids benefit, too. Studies have shown that children do better in school (improved memory, alertness, concentration, and test scores) compared to kids who skip breakfast.
Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers. Unfortunately, many people skip breakfast just to save calories. The fact is that breakfast skippers are at a greater risk for weight gain and obesity.
Eating breakfast helps you meet nutritional goals, especially for whole grains, dairy and fruits. Let’s face it, it’s hard to get all of the recommended servings of whole grains (3), dairy (3) and fruits and vegetables (5) in your diet even spread across three meals and one or two snacks. If a meal is skipped, it is even harder to meet the requirements. Breakfast is a natural opportunity to include whole grain (with ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, hot cereals, and whole grain toast and waffles), fruit (100% juice, fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruit) and fat-free or low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese).
Emerging research suggests that eating breakfast may improve your overall health, helping your heart, digestion, and bones. All of these benefits may be due to the nutritional boost from breakfast- fiber from fruit and whole grains for heart health; fiber for digestive health; and calcium from dairy foods for bone health.
This weekend, I hope you’ll make breakfast a priority. You can even try some easy, favorite Myplate2yours breakfast recipes like baked oatmeal, smoothies, granola, andoatmeal muffins. Or, for the busy school/work weeks ahead, try one of these make-and-go breakfast options (remember that fat-free and low fat milk are also available in aseptic packaging to-go):
#1 Toasted whole grain waffle with natural peanut butter, banana, and fat-free milk
#2 Individual fat-free or low-fat vanilla/plain yogurt, granola cereal, fresh berries (or raisins) – mix before eating
#3 Trail mix: whole grain breakfast cereal (Life, Wheat Chex, Oatmeal Squares, Cracklin Oat Bran), dried cranberries, almonds, and fat-free milk
#4 Single serving fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese, single serving canned peaches (packed in juice), toasted whole wheat English muffin with 100% fruit spread
#5 Cubed cheddar cheese, apple slices, whole grain toast lightly ‘buttered’ and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar, and fat-free milk
My hope is that Myplate2yours followers eat their breakfast! Please share YOUR favorite weekend or to-go breakfast!