Choosing a Better Breakfast

Many people have heard the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Research has found this statement to be true because eating breakfast can help jump start our brains and metabolism. Our metabolism increases after we eat, so the sooner we eat in the morning, the sooner our body will start metabolizing and digesting our breakfast. Once our metabolism has been jumpstarted by eating breakfast, there is an increased chance that we will burn more calories throughout the day.

Research has also shown that eating breakfast can be beneficial in maintaining a healthy weight, eating less fat during the day, increasing the amount of fiber and calcium consumed, as well as increasing the chance of eating the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables we need each day.

Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast are less likely to have difficulties concentrating, commonly have fewer behavioral problems, and are more productive during the day. Overall breakfast helps each and every one of us, perform better throughout the day because our thinking is clearer and we are able to process information better, retrieve memories of how to complete tasks, as well as increase our attention to detail.

When helping your family choose healthier breakfast options, we want to try to include foods from 3 of the food groups on MyPlate. This includes foods that are whole grains, high in fiber and protein while being low in added sugar. Some great breakfast ideas for the whole family include:

  • Making oatmeal and topping it with a nut butter and fresh or dried fruit
  • Low-fat yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and whole grain cereal or granola
  • Whole grain pancakes or waffles with low-fat yogurt and fruit as a topping
  • Breakfast smoothies that have fruits and/or vegetables, low-fat dairy, and protein
  • Whole grain tortilla with a nut butter and banana wrapped inside
  • Whole grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese and fresh fruit
  • Egg scramble with vegetables such as spinach, onion, and tomato and low-fat cheese
  • Whole grain English muffin with an egg, low-fat cheese and lean meat

Written by Sarah Michaels – University of Idaho Dietetic Student (2020)

References:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2016). During Kids Eat Right Month, Help Children Fuel for School with Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. EatRightPro.org. Retrieved from https://www.eatrightpro.org/media/press-releases/kids-eat-right-month/during-kids-eat-right-month-help-children-fuel-for-school-with-tips-from-the-academy-of-nutrition-and-dietetics

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2019). Smart Tips to Power Up with Breakfast. Eat Right: Food Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Retrieved from https://www.eatrightpro.org/-/media/eatright-files/nationalnutritionmonth/handoutsandtipsheets/nutritiontipsheets/2020/smart-tips-to-power-up-with-breakfast_final.pdf?la=en&hash=02798B1AA49780C5F9C8944F1EB540994BD14E5A

Rush University Medical Center. (n.d.). The Science Behind Breakfast. Retrieved from https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/why-you-should-eat-breakfast

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