Written by Erika Martin BSc Nutrition Candidate
Reviewed by Andrea Miller MHSc, RD
Have you ever wondered if breakfast really is the most important meal of the day? Essentially, breakfast is an important meal and eating breakfast on a regular basis has many benefits. The word “breakfast” or “break the fast” refers to eating something after “fasting” for 8 to 12 hours. It allows the body to refuel after a period of not eating. Eating breakfast also kickstarts your metabolism for the day, letting your body know that it won’t need to conserve calories in order to make it through the day. This, in turn, helps your body to work more efficiently, throughout your day. Sometimes during busy mornings or after hitting snooze one too many times, it can be hard to find the time to prepare and eat a balanced breakfast but fitting it in can really make a difference to how you feel for the rest of the day. Here are some quick and easy tips and recipes to help you stay on track and make healthy breakfasts a regular part of your day.
Benefits of Eating Breakfast
Having breakfast is sure to make us feel more satisfied and less hungry throughout the day, which in turn helps us to crave less as the day goes on. In addition, eating a balanced meal in the morning leads to better performance at school and in the workplace, and is shown to improve memory and attention span for school-aged children. This is because the body can focus less on being hungry and is able to concentrate more on tasks at hand. Furthermore, adding a balanced breakfast into the day (for those who regularly skip breakfast) is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some fiber, vitamins and minerals through fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be missed. Overall, those who regularly eat breakfast have been shown to maintain their weight more than those who skip it.
What Makes a Good Breakfast?
When choosing breakfast foods, try to include a variety of whole foods. Fresh fruits are always great to incorporate vitamins and fiber. When including any cereal or bread products, be sure to choose whole grains over white, again to increase fiber. Whole wheat toast or oatmeal are good examples of this. Include a source of protein such as eggs, or natural nut butters. Finally, milk or milk alternatives, yogurt and cheese, are a great way to add calcium to your day.
Tips for Breakfast
Putting a nutritious breakfast together is easy. Some quick and simple ideas include whole grain cereal with milk, topped with berries or banana slices; plain Greek yogurt topped with berries and granola; whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and banana slices. If you have a little extra time in the morning, try oatmeal made with milk, topped with cinnamon and berries or scrambled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast and some fruit; a breakfast smoothie with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt or a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, veggies and cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Some breakfasts can also be made ahead to save time, such as overnight oats, home made muffins, frozen breakfast sandwiches or pre-prepped yogurt parfaits.
If you are not a breakfast fan…start slowly. Plan one or two breakfasts a week and gradually work you way up to enjoying breakfast, daily.
Contact us, if you have questions about how to plan a healthy breakfast for you and your family.
Try these recipes for some more ideas: