Start your day and new school year right, eat breakfast!

Eating breakfast can bring many more benefits than just filling your stomach.

You may have been told in the past that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But why is that? And why does it even matter what we eat for breakfast? Every day 31 million Americans skip breakfast for different reasons, and here’s some of them.

Reason 1: I can save time and get a few more minutes of sleep if I skip breakfast.

Reality: In general people who eat breakfast are actually more productive with their day, are more efficient with their time. Also, they have greater mental ability through the day, which saves them time in the long run.

Reason 2: I can save calories from my day by not eating breakfast.

Reality: This practice usually backfires on people. The word “breakfast,” which literally means, “break the fast,” helps to jump-start your metabolism for the day. In addition, eating a complete breakfast helps prevent you from overeating later in the day.

Adults who eat breakfast are more likely to have better weight control, have lower cholesterol and have better concentration throughout the day. If the right foods are eaten during breakfast, the meal can be packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs to operate.

Though breakfast is important to everyone, it is especially important for children. Children who do not eat breakfast have an overall higher tardy and absent record from school compared to children who do eat breakfast. Also, eating breakfast gives children the energy they need to learn at their full potential during school and helps them to make healthier choices throughout the day.

So now that you’ve made the decision to eat breakfast, what types of foods should you eat?

Ideally your breakfast should contain whole grains, fiber, low-fat protein, low-fat dairy and foods with no added sugar. Here are a few ideas for possible breakfasts:

  • Whole grain cereal with added fruit and skim milk
  • Whole wheat pitas with A sliced hard-boiled egg inside
  • Oatmeal with applesauce or other fruit
  • Peanut butter on whole wheat toast or whole wheat bagel
  • Whole wheat waffle with fruit or peanut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Vegetable omelet with whole wheat toast
  • Scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast and fresh fruit

Michigan State University Extension offers nutrition education classes for adults that discuss choosing healthy options from each food group, shopping on a budget, as well as basic nutrition information. More information can be found at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/eating_right_is_basic_erib and http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/cooking_matters.

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