Start Eating Breakfast More Often for a Healthier You!

Start Eating Breakfast More Often for a Healthier You!

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 September is National Breakfast Month and for many people breakfast is a low priority or not one at all. If you think you are saving time or cutting out calories to lose weight by skipping breakfast, think again. Making a healthy breakfast a part of your morning can help get you on track to make healthier choices throughout the day, increase your physical activity, and help curb overindulging on convenience foods and overeating at lunch. A healthy breakfast replenishes your body and can have a positive impact on your general health. Check out these tips on why a healthy breakfast is so important and how to make it happen in the morning. 

Tips on How to Start Eating Breakfast more Often: 

  • Skipping Breakfast and Weight Gain. Did you know skipping breakfast may increase your chances for weight gain? Eating breakfast can help reduce your hunger and help you to avoid overeating. Also, skipping breakfast may leave you feeling famished, which leaves the door open for temptations such as candy, chips, and other convenience foods that you might find in a vending machine. When you are at the grocery store try buying portable breakfast items such as fruit, low-fat yogurt, and whole grain breakfast or granola bars for when you are on the go. 
  • Breakfast and Children’s Academic Performance. Research shows that skipping out on breakfast can negatively impact children’s academic performance. As children get older they are less and less likely to eat breakfast. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) states that children who eat a healthy breakfast are more apt to have better concentration, be more alert, creative and physically active, miss fewer days of school. and have better problem-solving skills. 
  • The Health Benefits of Breakfast. Did you know eating a healthy breakfast may help you establish health benefits for life? Research shows that those who eat breakfast on a regular basis are more likely to have a healthier overall diet. Healthy breakfast options include whole grains (oatmeal, whole grain cereals, breads, muffins, or bagels), low-fat protein (hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter, lean slices of poultry, meat, or fish), low-fat dairy (skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt and cheeses), and fruits and vegetables (try fresh or frozen fruits or 100% juices that do not have added sugars). 
  • Healthy Breakfast Ideas. Try a small whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and a glass of skim or low-fat milk. Another example would be oatmeal cooked with skim or low-fat milk topped with dried or fresh fruit and chopped nuts. You could also eat whole-grain cereal with skim or low-fat milk and some fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries. Another idea is a breakfast parfait made with low-fat yogurt, fruit, and low-fat granola. You could also try a breakfast sandwich made with a whole grain English muffin, turkey bacon, and low-fat cheese. 

If you are one of the many Americans that skip breakfast in the morning I encourage you to start eating breakfast this month and make it a daily routine. Try adding to or substituting your morning coffee with 100% juice or low-fat milk. Plan ahead to eat breakfast, this means deciding the night before so you will save time in the morning. Start a new routine this month where breakfast is a priority.

 By Lisa Franzen-Castle, UNL Extension Nutrition Specialist