We’ve all heard that breakfast is important, but the realities of a hectic morning can make it difficult. For many, eating a wholesome meal in the morning becomes an afterthought when rushing out the door. Let’s explore why you should eat it anyway – and go over some tips on making it as quick and effortless as possible.
Why Breakfast Truly Is Important
When you start the morning with a balanced breakfast, you’re fueling your body and your brain. Breakfast jump-starts your metabolism while giving you the energy and nutrients you need to get through the day. Previous research has shown that kids and teenagers who skip breakfast miss out on important nutrients they need for growth and development, and it’s hard for them to make up those nutrients later in the day. But eating breakfast isn’t just important for growing adolescents; it also helps with mental alertness and physical performance — which is important for all ages!
What a Balanced Breakfast Looks Like
A balanced breakfast includes the perfect combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats:
- Carbohydrates help keep your blood sugar stable, especially if you choose a whole grain (like oatmeal or whole wheat toast) or fresh fruit (apples, bananas and oranges are high in fiber).
- protein helps repair and build muscle tissue. Paired with whole grains, it will help you feel full, longer. Milk, yogurt and cheese are excellent sources of protein and great choices for breakfast!
- Healthy fats – such as almond or peanut butter, avocado, or nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds or flax seeds) — have anti-inflammatory properties and are good for your heart.
5 Tips for a Quick and Healthy Breakfast
With the right planning and knowledge, you’ll be on your way to a healthy start. Need some inspiration? Here are some quick tips to get your mornings started right!
- Prepare a batch of overnight oats with milk, then toss in dried cranberries and chopped walnuts in the morning for a delicious on-the-go meal!
- Build a yogurt parfait with protein-rich Greek yogurt topped with your favorite granola and fresh blueberries.
- Make a breakfast burrito by stuffing a whole wheat tortilla with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese and avocado.
- Every week, write out a simple meal plan for yourself and create a shopping list. Go buy the ingredients you’ll need for a balanced breakfast all at once — having the right foods on hand is the first step to a healthy breakfast!
- Prepare anything you can ahead of time. Spend an hour or so on the weekend chopping vegetables, baking whole grain muffins or making mason jar smoothies.