What About Breakfast?
What’s for breakfast? It is National Breakfast Month and the question is what are we eating? I share with my clients that it is not necessarily when you eat, but what you eat. It is important to eat something to fuel your body as your day starts. Research shows that eating breakfast can aid in improved performance and concentration in both the conference room and the classroom. Additionally breakfast helps you eat adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals recommended for a healthy lifestyle. If you eat breakfast you are more likely to control your weight and eat less fat and cholesterol.
Key ingredients for a healthy breakfast include:
- Whole grain rolls, bagels, cereals, low-fat bran muffins, English muffins, Melba toast, and crackers.
- Low-fat protein such as peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella® spread, Canadian bacon, low-fat mozzarella cheese sticks, turkey bacon and sausage, scrambled egg whites or an egg-white omelet, hard-cooked eggs or vegetarian protein items.
- Low-fat or fat free dairy foods i.e., fat-free milk, Greek-style low-fat yogurt, cottage and natural cheeses.
- Fruits and vegetables including fresh or frozen items, 100 percent juice beverages without added sugar, fruit or vegetable smoothies.
Breakfast-on–the-go has grown in popularity. Research from The NPD Group on American eating habits noted an increase in breakfast and morning snack consumption. However 70% of breakfast meals are consumed in the home. If you’ve been a ‘breakfast skipper,” try these tips for making this meal a little easier to get on the table (or in your hand on the way out the door).
- Pre-pack to-go bags the day before a busy morning. Include a zip-top plastic bag of granola; add a hard-cooked egg, low-fat yogurt, and fruit just before you leave.
- Have a smoothie. Just make sure to add some protein, like yogurt, whey protein powder, or tofu, to keep you satisfied longer.
- Make quick and healthy breakfast sandwiches with toasted frozen waffles, peanut or almond butter and sliced banana.
- Set foods aside the night before; cut up fruits, pour cereal or prepare mixtures for baked or scrambled eggs.
- Consider steel-cut oats for a super-healthy and convenient meal. Combine the oats and water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let set overnight. The next morning, you can reheat them in the microwave oven
- Keep your freezer stocked with frozen waffles. They are available in whole grain and gluten-free varieties. Keep fresh strawberries or blueberries on-hand; they’re a good source of antioxidants and they dress up waffles or a bowl of cereal.
- Prepare hard-cooked eggs in advance. Hard-cooked eggs in the shell can be stored in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days.
- Always keep a bowl of fresh seasonal fruits available for the easiest grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
Adding breakfast to the day is easy; just make a few adjustments to your schedule, plan ahead, and grab-and-go, choosing some of the above breakfast choices.
Take away: If you begin with breakfast, you are well on the way to jumpstarting the day with optimum energy.