Why Breakfast Is So Important
By Rebecca Ditkoff, Registered Dietitian
Ever wonder why breakfast is always referred to as the most important meal of the day?
Well, the name says it all!
Breakfast refers to ‘breaking’ the ‘fast’ after a night of rest. Think of your body as a car. When you wake up the fuel tank is empty and must be refueled before hitting the road and starting a new day.
For children, eating a healthy breakfast is even more important. It not only helps them meet their daily vitamin and mineral requires, but breakfast also helps them get ready to learn and excel in school.
For many people time is an issue in the morning. A healthy breakfast doesn’t need to take a lot of time to prepare and may even be eaten on-the-go. Be sure to get organized and prepare the night before.
Healthy Breakfast Tips
A healthy breakfast should contain a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein to fuel your child until lunch. Try pairing whole-wheat toast, oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with
a protein source such as milk, yogurt, peanut butter, eggs or cheese.
- Add fresh or frozen fruit to cereal, yogurt, waffles or serve on the side for a boost of vitamins and minerals.
- Be a positive role model for your child and make sure to eat breakfast too.
- Use caution with pre-packaged breakfast foods as many contain excess sugar and fat. Read the nutrition label to find items lower in sugar.
- To save time, keep healthy breakfast foods on hand such as yogurt, fruit, instant oatmeal and whole-grain bread.