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It's Better Breakfast Month

Posted by Michele Herzog on September 05, 2013

September is Better Breakfast Month & for good reason. Eating breakfast every day is one of the best habits I can think of aside from daily exercise and regular healthy eating.

I've heard many reasons why people skip breakfast, myself included: typically it's not being hungry early in the morning (that could be because of eating lots of calories before going to bed); no time in the mornings; and not liking breakfast foods, but let's face it, you don't have to eat "breakfast foods" for breakfast. There are many healthy alternatives.

But did you know, the benefits to eating breakfast far outweigh the reasons people aren't eating it? It not only kick starts your metabolism (your body needs food to burn calories and burning calories helps weight management), but it's a necessary step in meeting your daily nutritional needs (there is a reason they call is breakfast... you are breaking the fast between the time you eat dinner until you wake up in the morning. That can be over 8 hours of no food & water for your body!). Eating breakfast is also shown to improve a child's grades in school and keep them from being depressed, anxious or irritable... all the more reason to prepare a healthy breakfast in the morning for both you and your child.

Eating breakfast takes time and dedication. Skip it once and you may feel a little guilty but will be more inclined to skip it again. We all have days, no doubt, that a full breakfast just may not be an option, but grab a piece of fruit or a granola bar on your way out the door to hold you until you can eat a well balanced meal. Here are some great tips from Rachel Begun, MS, RD to help ease into a breakfast eating routine:

  • Take baby steps. Start by eating something small, like a piece of fruit, glass of milk or cup of yogurt. Something is better than nothing. Slowly build up to a more substantial breakfast of 300-600 calories, depending on what your total daily caloric intake should be.
  • Eating breakfast mindfully sets the tone for the day. Set aside at least ten minutes to eat sitting down. However, if this isn't possible, there are many healthful breakfast options that can be eaten on the run. To lessen the time burden in the morning, prepare breakfast the night before.
  • Who said you have to eat typical breakfast foods? As long as what you’re eating is nutrient dense and getting your metabolism going, it doesn't matter what it is. There’s nothing wrong with eating a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread or rice and beans for breakfast!

As you develop your breakfast habit, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Eat something within the first hour of waking. It’s okay to have something small upon waking, followed by a mid-morning breakfast or snack.
  • Aim for at least one serving of fruits or vegetables. Work your way up to two or more.
  • Breakfast should make up one-fourth to one-third of daily caloric needs.
  • Choose foods that contribute fiber, protein and healthy fats. All are essential nutrients and keep you feeling full and running efficiently until that mid-morning snack or lunch.

It's never too late to start healthy eating habits for you and your family; and what better way to kick your day off then with the peace of mind of revitalizing all of the needed nutrients you lost over night.

Need some healthy recipes? Check out this quick and easy breakfast from Parenting.com:

Dressed Up Yogurt

What you need:

7 oz container plain yogurt (I recommend Greek yogurt)

1 Tbsp. raspberry jam (or any other favorite - raspberry just happens to be mine)

1 tsp. honey

2 Tbsp. toasted almonds, roughly chopped