Breakfast: What’s the big fuss?

Jump start your day with nutrient rich food combinations.

Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, but why? Your body has gone the longest stretch without food overnight and breaking the fast tells your body to stop storing, and to use nutrients.

Michigan State University Extension says that the advantages of eating within two hours of waking:

  • Even out blood sugar
  • Increase alertness
  • Start metabolism

Not everyone is hungry when they open their eyes, so if that’s you, perhaps you can start with one item and eat another item an hour or two later. Some people prefer to drink breakfast in the form of a smoothie or juice.

Including foods from three food groups increases your intake of vital nutrients. Fiber from whole wheat, vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, calcium and protein from dairy and protein from meat and beans are all essential and can be consumed in the first meal of the day.

If you are looking for ways to make a powerful breakfast, start with these simple ideas which include three food groups each:

  • Whole wheat toast, peanut butter, banana
  • Yogurt, berries, hard-boiled egg
  • English muffin, egg, low-fat cheese
  • Oatmeal, fruit, glass of milk
  • Omelet with ham, spinach, tomatoes and mushrooms

Cinnamon Raisin Mix and Ham and Swiss Breakfast Casserole are examples of simple, tasty and healthy breakfast recipes featured on ChooseMyPlate.gov along with resources, tips and information from the United States Department of Agriculture.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg, the combinations are limitless. Variety and creativity will make breakfast enjoyable which will help make it part of a routine and habit.

By starting your day with varied nutrients through breakfast, you are more likely to meet the daily recommendations of 2.5 to three cups of fruits, two to three cups of vegetables, six ounces of grains, three cups dairy, and 5.5 ounces of protein. Breakfast can be as inexpensive as $1.50 (25 cents for a banana, 75 cents for cereal and 50 cents for milk) with an average cost of between two and three dollars a day, according to Cooking Matters for Adults curriculum.

If you are not starting each day with breakfast, consider adding breakfast one additional time this week and two additional times the next week. Your body will thank you!

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