Breakfast may not be on the top of your to-do list in the morning, or it may not be on your list at all. However, a healthy breakfast can replenish energy for the body, start a new day, and benefit your health. Don’t skip it.
These quick and simple options provide you with multiple ways to make breakfast reappear on the menu.
The benefits of a healthy breakfast
Breakfast gives you the opportunity to start your day with a nutritious meal. Adults who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
- Eat more vitamins and minerals
- Weight control
- Control their blood sugar levels
- Perform better at work
Children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:
- Meet daily nutritional needs
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Able to concentrate
- Go to school less
The basis of a healthy breakfast
What is a healthy breakfast?
- Whole wheat, such as whole wheat rolls and bagels, whole wheat cereals, whole wheat English muffins and whole wheat waffles.
- Lean protein, such as eggs, beans, lean meat and nuts.
- Low-fat dairy products or fortified dairy substitutes, such as milk, plain yogurt, and low-fat cheese.
- Fruits and vegetables, such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100% vegetable juice drinks and smoothies.
These food groups provide you with complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and a small amount of fat. This combination has many health benefits and can help you feel full.
What to look for in dry grains
Cereal is a good choice for breakfast. Studies have shown that, compared with those who eat other foods for breakfast, those who eat oatmeal eat fewer calories for breakfast and are less likely to be overweight. However, not all grains are good.
Before buying oatmeal, please read the label carefully to understand the nutritional content and ingredients. Remember, not all grains are the same size. One serving of cereal may be ½ cup, and another serving may be one cup.
When choosing oatmeal, remember:
- fiber. Choose grains that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, but if you can, aim for 5 grams or more.
- sugar. Look at cereals for adults, because these cereals are usually lower in sugar than children. Avoid listing sugary grains at or near the top of the ingredient list, or listing multiple sugar-added grains, such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar, and glucose.
- Calories. If you want to count calories, choose grains with lower calorie content. The goal is to have less than 160 calories per serving.
Put some sliced fruit and low-fat or skimmed milk/vegetable milk on the cereal. If you are traveling, bring a piece of fruit and some yogurt so you can have an impact on three of the beneficial groups.
Cereal bars seem to be a good breakfast option. Be sure to look for foods that meet the same basic guidelines as dry cereals and are made from simple ingredients, such as dried fruits, nuts, and whole grains (such as oatmeal).
Don’t forget to eat some fruits and low-fat yogurt or milk to get a balanced breakfast. Even fruit and yogurt cereal bars cannot meet all your breakfast nutritional needs.
Fast and flexible breakfast options
A healthy breakfast is not necessarily a traditional breakfast option. Healthy options include:
- Cooked oatmeal sprinkled with almonds or dried cranberries
- Whole wheat pita bread stuffed with boiled eggs and vegetables such as spinach
- Whole wheat tortillas with vegetables, salsa and shredded low-fat cheese
- A smoothie made with fruit, plain yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
- Whole wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sweet pepper
- French toast made with whole wheat bread, egg whites, cinnamon and vanilla.
Suitable for healthy breakfast
Try some of these techniques to find time for breakfast in a tight schedule.
- Cook in advance. Make breakfast the night before. Just reheat as needed in the morning.
- Set the stage. Calculate what you had for breakfast the night before. Prepare dry ingredients and any bowls, pans, or other equipment you need so that they can be used in the morning.
- Wrap it up. Make breakfast the night before. In the morning, pick it up and you will go out.
Your breakfast does not necessarily mean that you have to eat a lot of fruit and sugar, nor does it necessarily take a lot of time to stay healthy. Remember the basics of breakfast and eat healthier for the rest of the day.