What do you remember about breakfast that you learned in kindergarten? Most likely you will answer “That it is the most important meal of the day.” The reason breakfast is so important is actually found in the word itself; it breaks the fast.
Our brain requires fuel every 6 hours and for some their body requires refueling every 3-4 hours. Fueling our brain and body improves energy levels, concentration, alertness and metabolism. So why isn’t breakfast treated with as much importance as it deserves? People often ignore the breakfast for a variety of reason. In our busy lifestyle we often have time constraints in the morning. Some people wake up not being hungry first thing in the morning or not liking traditional breakfast foods. Let us help you learn how to get past the roadblocks that have kept breakfast from being a regular part of your life.
1) “I’m just not hungry first thing in the morning.” Who says you have to eat as soon as you jump out of bed? Try to eat something within 2 hours of awakening. If you’re not used to eating breakfast, start out with something light like a banana. After a week or so of initiating this habit, your stomach will start to rumble, letting you know it’s time for breakfast.
2) “I don’t like traditional breakfast foods.” There’s no rule says you have to eat traditional breakfast foods. If you want to eat cold pizza or leftovers from the night before, go for it! Your body isn’t going to care if you eat breakfast or supper—just have something (nutritious of course) and you’ve given it the fuel it needs to start the day.
3) “I don’t have time to eat breakfast.” A survey done in 2011 found that 31 million Americans skip breakfast. This may be due to the thought that breakfast has to be a sit-down eggs, toast & bacon affair; or it could simply be from lack of planning. If time is your major hindrance in eating breakfast, try some of these fast solutions.
- Get up 10 minutes earlier.
- Pack things the night before that you can eat on your commute (if you car pool or ride the bus. I’m not advocating distractions to your driving!)
- Keep things at work to have when you get there, such as fruit cups, hot or dry cereal.
- Prepare fast items that you can eat while getting ready.
- Try making breakfasts ahead of time, such as overnight oatmeal.
Quick & Healthy Ideas for Breakfast
- Hard-boiled egg (make up enough for the week ahead of time). Add a slice of whole grain toast.
- Whole grain toaster waffle with peanut or other nut butters. Top with a sliced banana.
- Toasted whole grain English muffin or a bagel. Spread with low fat cream cheese and top with sliced strawberries. (Use an egg slicer to slice the berries faster).
- Whole grain pita with shredded cheese. Pop in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and add some salsa or veggies of choice. To speed up the process, make up enough of these for the week and wrap in foil. Remove from foil before microwaving.
- Spread peanut or other nut butter on a banana; add a glass of low fat milk.
- Low fat cottage cheese with peaches or pears.
- Greek yogurt with berries and nuts or a low fat granola added.
- Mozzarella cheese sticks and fruit.
- Homemade trail mix with almonds, walnuts, whole grain cereal and dried fruit.
- Homemade fruit and bran muffins. Make up a batch on the weekend and freeze. Take out as needed and microwave for 20 seconds. Add a glass of low fat milk.
- Oatmeal. Prepare the night before by using your slow cooker so it’s ready when you’re up or making “Overnight Oats” in a jar. Add sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, flax, chia seeds, dried fruit or nuts to spruce up the flavor and nutritional value.The new craze of overnight oatmeal that doesn’t even require cooking is taking off everywhere with some awesome flavors (Like the Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats). We found some great recipes that you can change up to your liking here.
Once you start feeding your body in the morning it will thank you by staying more alert throughout your day. Feel free to share some of your healthy breakfast ideas with us!
Kim Fox, RDN, LD, CDE
Fox Nutrition & Diabetes Services, Inc.
Registered, Licensed Dietitian
Certified Diabetes Educator
Thanks to our Live Your Life Physical Therapy dietitian Kim Fox for helping us help YOU stay healthy. We want you to Live Your Life With a HEALTHY START TO THE DAY!
Dedicated to Keeping You Healthy & Active,
Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Live Physical Therapy, LLC