Breakfast or not?
It is common to hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Most of us may agree because breakfast gets us fueled for our busy day.
However, a shocking 1 out of every 3 adult Americans actually take the time to eat a meal in the morning, with the number even lower for teenagers. Most people state that they would like to eat breakfast, but it doesn’t always happen. This shows that we know why we need breakfast, but we don’t always make the time or effort to do it. We know it will fuel our day, keep us satisfied, and minimizes cravings later in the day. However, many of us come up with excuses as to why we skip breakfast.
Most often, breakfast is not eaten for a few reasons:
- You’re rushing out the door
- You feel it is easier to grab a morning coffee
- You simply aren’t hungry that early
Here are some of the risks of skipping breakfast:
- You can miss out on some essential nutrients that are common in breakfast foods (ie. calcium and vitamin D in milk, vitamin C from berries or oranges, fiber and iron from whole grain cereals).
- Your metabolism can slow down. Many people will think that starving themselves in the morning or fasting for a longer period of time is good for their weight, however, not utilizing a meal in the morning has the potential to cause weight gain.
- You have a desire to eat more at night. Your body knows when it didn’t get enough energy! It may start craving high-energy, sugary, or high-fat foods later in the day when it knows that the morning meal was missed.
- You may feel more sluggish and less alert. Studies suggest that breakfast can increase alertness and enhance both attention span and memory. We’ve been fasting all night long, so to keep your blood sugar low by not eating, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to think clearly.
- You might get grumpy! Hangry mornings don’t go well, and a simple breakfast can always fix that.
- Make whole grain waffles or pancakes in bulk. Nights before, you can cut up fruit. The morning of, throw it in the toaster and top it with your pre-cut fruit.
- Cut up your veggies when you have time. In the morning, throw it in a pan with a few eggs. This doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
- High fiber, whole grain cereals are quick and easy.
- Smoothies can always be mixed and blended weeks before you eat them. Throw some spinach, frozen bananas, peanut butter, and low-fat milk or your favorite mixes together and freeze them in individual cups.
- Overnight oats with the toppings of your choice, especially easy-to-eat fruits.
- Egg and spinach burritos can be prepped and frozen, or made the morning of.
- Prep hard-boiled eggs and peel them so that the morning of, you can cut them up on a piece of whole grain toast with avocado.
- Find some homemade muffin recipes with flaxseed, fruit, and whole wheat flour. Freeze them and defrost the morning of.
On the go with literally no time?
- Meal prep some oat bars that you can grab out of the fridge or freezer
- Pull out a yogurt cup and fruit out of the fridge
- Keep nuts and fruit on hand
Making it simpler
Rotate between these simple breakfast ideas. Remember, you don’t need to wake up an hour earlier! Also, you don’t have to settle for a cup of coffee or just a banana on the go. You can make these meals ahead of time so they are quick to grab. If you have the extra time, sit down and really prep yourself for the day while you eat your breakfast. Really enjoy the breakfast and think about what your motivation for the day is, why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why you really do need that fuel for your day. It will truly make a difference.
Check out these awesome dietitian-approved breakfast ideas for better breakfasts for both you and for children that might get fussy with breakfast. Have other ideas? Let us know what you do!