You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast every morning has many health benefits, including increased energy levels and reduced overeating throughout the day. When we sleep, we fast for six to eight hours. It is important to break that fast each morning and fuel your body with nutrients after going so many hours without food. Some people avoid breakfast with the hope of skipping the calories if they are trying to lose weight, but that is actually counterproductive. Eating in the morning can boost metabolism and help to lower “bad” cholesterol.

While doughnuts and pasteries may be tempting, these unhealthy options provide short-term energy that will leave you feeling sluggish later in the day. There are healthy and tasty alternatives that can help to start your day off right such as eggs, oranges, whole wheat toast, fresh fruit, and oatmeal. These options provide your body with the nutrients it needs to feel satisfied and energized. Many people say they do not feel hungry in the morning. This is likely the result of a large dinner the night before. if this is the case for you, it’s time to flip those meals! Try starting off your day with a big meal, and eating smaller meals as the day goes on. Breakfast should be the largest meal with the most calories, lunch should be moderately sized, and dinner should be the smallest meal.

If you are a parent, encourage your kids to get into the habit of eating a nutritious breakfast. Children who eat a healthy breakfast perform better in school and are more focused throughout the day. By encouraging children to develop this healthy habit at a young age, you set them up for a lifetime of healthy choices. Remember, not all breakfast foods are equal in nutritional value, and there is a big difference between an omelette and a donut for your morning meal. Feel like you just don’t have the time for breakfast? Check out the information below for some simple and delicious breakfast ideas.

Easy breakfast options for those who “don’t have the time”!

  • Avocado Toast with an Egg. Top two lightly toasted slices of whole-grain bread with smashed avocado. Layer on two sunny side up eggs for a healthy dose of protein.
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie. Smoothies are a perfect on the go snack any time of the day. Blend frozen bananas, peanut butter, soy milk, Greek yogurt, honey, and a few ice cubes.
  • On the Go Oatmeal. Assemble your own oatmeal using rolled oats, cinnamon, and mix ins such as raisins and nuts. Bring to work with you in a Ziploc bag!

Sources: WebMD, USDA Food and Nutrition Service. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.