You’ve heard it before, and it’s true! Whether you’re sending the kids off to school or you’re heading out the door for work or play, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As we sleep, the body regenerates, heals, and refreshes itself; this process uses energy that the body stored throughout the day. Then, as we become active the next morning, our bodies need energy for basic functioning, daily activities, and concentration. So, to eat breakfast means just that – to break the overnight fast by eating food.
Studies have found that eating breakfast has several important effects on our lives. People who regularly eat breakfast feel more energetic and may weigh less than those who do not eat breakfast. Likewise, those who don’t eat breakfast tend to eat more foods that are higher in fat and sugar – likely because, without food, the body becomes ravenous and choices tend to be quicker or more convenient. Also, people who skip breakfast may struggle to eat enough vitamins and minerals, nutrients that could have been supplied by a balanced breakfast. Finally, breakfast helps children (and adults, too!) learn. The brain primarily relies on glucose, an energy source found in carbohydrates, which helps the brain learn new information, reason, and remember.
The best breakfast is a well-rounded meal that includes some fat or protein to stave off hunger and some carbohydrates for brain power. Choosing foods from at least three food groups can help you make these nutrients part of a balanced meal; think meat/eggs, dairy, or oils for fat and protein, and for carbohydrates try fruit, vegetables, or bread/cereal. Fruit is a great addition to any breakfast. For instance, pears supply a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates for energy. Try a veggie omelet with a fresh pear on the side. For a quicker meal, try a breakfast of peanut butter spread on pear wedges with a glass of milk or a latte. Pears are also yummy cut up into cereal or oatmeal, in a smoothie or yogurt, or as an addition to breakfast on-the-go. Remember to make breakfast a part of your morning routine, and fuel up before you head out!