You’ve probably heard it all your life, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. And it is true! If you break up the word “breakfast” into “break” “fast” you’ll recognize the need for this important meal. Many times when we eat breakfast it has been 10-12 hours since we last ate; therefore breakfast is important to refuel our bodies and rev up our metabolism.
Brenda Moeckly, Dietitian, Hendricks Regional Health, explains:
Breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate but it should be eaten every day. Research shows your morning meal kick starts your metabolism, improves memory, and improves energy levels, blood sugars and even mood for the rest of your day. Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired and even restless or irritable. Studies have shown those that don’t eat breakfast actually consume more calories than those who eat breakfast. Breakfast contributes important nutrients and study after study shows children and adults that eat breakfast are more alert and ready to work and learn than those that skip breakfast.
Breakfast can be as simple as nut butter on a whole grain bread, a Greek yogurt, cereal, protein bar, or a more involved hot breakfast that includes eggs. It is important to choose breakfast items that are rich in whole grains, fiber and contain protein. Research shows there are benefits to drinking black coffee as part of your morning routine. Just be careful to not load up on creamers and syrups – go with good ole’ black coffee.
When choosing cereals use the 5-5-10 rule. Choose cereals with a minimum of 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and no more than 10 grams of sugar. Brand names that fit this profile would be Wheat Chex®, Grape Nuts®, Shredded Wheat’n Bran®, many Kashi® cereals, muesli, Quaker Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares®.
Newer research also shows whole fat yogurts are revealing these higher fat products provide greater feelings of fullness and help with blood sugars when eaten in the morning. You can even add fruits and vegetables to your breakfast. If you make smoothies in the morning adding fruits and veggies is a good way to start your day. Just be careful that you are not adding too many carbohydrates and sugars to your smoothie. Try using the whole fat yogurts or cottage cheese to your homemade blend.
Protein is important component for your breakfast. Eggs are a perfect breakfast item. Scrambling an egg is quick in the morning or boil eggs the night before so you can eat an egg on the run. Peanut butter or lean slices of meat or tuna are also good protein sources in the morning. Even a leftover piece of pizza can make a good start to the day. Hummus on whole wheat toast with a glass of milk makes a good breakfast.
Being a good example for your children is important. Parents that don’t eat breakfast themselves will find it more difficult to encourage their child to eat breakfast. If you or your child are not “natural” breakfast eaters there are a few tricks to help you eat in the morning. One way to start is to eat a light breakfast of perhaps a small yogurt or one slice of toast and a small piece of fruit. Remember you don’t have to eat a huge breakfast. If you are short on time try getting up 10 minutes earlier. This should give you enough time to eat cereal, toast a bagel, or eat some cottage cheese. If you have a late start to your day take the yogurt or peanut butter and crackers with you and eat breakfast on a morning break. Once your body is acclimated to eating breakfast you will begin to get hungry in the morning and will look forward to breaking your fast.
When you make good nutrition a priority your children and even your coworkers will pick up on your message and you can serve as a good role model to those around you.
Since 1962, Hendricks Regional Health has served as the area’s leading healthcare provider by delivering innovative care with a personal touch. The hospital strives to be the indispensable healthcare partner to patients, payers, physicians, associates and employers. Licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health and accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, Hendricks Regional Health staffs a full complement of physicians in a variety of specialties at locations in Danville, Avon, Plainfield, Brownsburg, Lizton and Bainbridge. To learn more call (317) 745-3627 or visit www.hendricks.org.