What’s So Great About Breakfast?

What’s So Great About Breakfast?

Before we get too excited, note this post is not titled “What’s So Good About Bacon.” Breakfast may be “the most important meal of the day” but not all breakfasts are created equal. While we’re pretty sure you know that and aren’t handing out glazed donuts and chocolate milkshakes in the mad dash to get to school, we thought we’d help you amp up the nutrition without busting the time budget and staring down the “do you seriously expect me to eat that” face.

Some people just aren’t “breakfast people.” You may know one, you may be one or, heaven help you, you may be responsible for the care and maintenance of one. But according to the Mayo Clinic “healthy breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health.” Beyond the obvious energy boost a little a.m. fuel gives you, research has shown that adults who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day, take in more vitamins overall, are better able to manage their weight and have lower cholesterol levels and therefore lower risk of heart disease. (Source)

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And for children, the benefits are even more striking. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  • Meet daily nutrient requirements
  • Concentrate better
  • Have better problem-solving skills
  • Have better hand-eye coordination
  • Be more alert
  • Be more creative
  • Miss fewer days of school
  • Be more physically active

So what constitutes a “healthy” breakfast?  Balance is key. Carbs provide energy but they’re quickly burned up by activity and can leave kids feeling tired and unable to concentrate before lunchtime comes around. Protein takes longer to digest but can sit a little heavy if it’s all they eat (hence the never-heard recommendation to “bacon” load before a marathon). Aim to combine healthy whole grain carbs with a little protein and a little healthy fat for energy that will fuel physical activity, power up the brain and last until the bell rings and the baloney sandwich comes out…..which reminds me…..about that baloney sandwich?!

We’ve got tons of healthy breakfast ideas here for you to browse on SPC for inspiration but when you’re in a pinch just remember to combine a carb, a protein and a healthy fat in any number of ways until you find the magic combo that doesn’t raise the hackles of little miss “my toast is touching my egg, noooooooooo.”

And to get the kids involved in the choices, check out www.nourishinteractive.com for printable fruit, veggie, grain and protein games and worksheets.

I mean, cute, right?!

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