What's for breakfast at your house? Is it a healthy breakfast? Will it fuel you and your kids for the morning? Is it going to add stress to your body? The word ‘breakfast’ comes from break the fast from not eating since your last evening meal.
Americans have generally lost touch with breakfast. We fill our bodies with chemicals, food coloring, preservatives and sugar. A typical cold cereal has anywhere from 11 to 20 grams or more of sugar PER SERVING! Who do you know that eats only one serving of cold cereal? If you read the labels you will see on almost every box that sugar is the second ingredient (second highest in content) and there is usually more than one type of sugar listed. Combine that with milk and you do not have a good source of fuel for the day. Many people add more sugar on top of that. It only takes 4 grams of sugar to equal 1 teaspoon. You do the math. That is a lot of sugar. Besides cereal, on a typical breakfast table in America you might find: white or wheat bread, muffins, chocolate milk, processed juice, eggs, pancakes, waffles, or even fast food. Now add to that sodas, coffee or tea, each with lots of sugar and very little nutrition or fuel for the body. This is not the most ideal way to start the day.
One of the reasons people eat like this for breakfast is convenience. Most people do not have very much time in the morning. So we have gotten into the habit of quick and easy. Some people just are not hungry in the morning – well that is pretty normal at 7 am. That might be too early to eat. WebMD has some good things to say about the importance of breakfast. It is especially important for kids. I can tell you, better fed kids are happier kids and they have fewer behavioral problems. I see too many people, especially children, that are overfed and undernourished.
A better breakfast can boost a child's brainpower according to an NPR report. Adults benefit as well. Sugary cereals cause a drop in energy after the first two hours. On the other hand, oats stay with you longer and provide consistent energy through the morning.
In my work with kids that are dealing with ADHD and other conditions, all have huge improvements by learning to eat better. One mother reported that when they changed the diet, her child's anger got better. They don't miss as much school and you don't miss as much work.
Eating better in the morning WILL lead to better sustained energy throughout the day not to mention experiencing fewer cravings.
Everyone is different. Learning to listen to your body is important. You do not have to eat a large meal in the morning. It can be fast and easy and full of nutrition. Many things can be prepared ahead of time. You are looking for a balanced intake of food for the day. You do not have to hit all the food groups for breakfast. I like to call fruit ‘the original fast food’. Just a piece of fruit can be plenty to get your day started. My teen boys will eat only fruit and be completely satisfied for several hours.
Another benefit to a healthy breakfast is a stronger immune system. When you get a carb and sugar-heavy meal with no nutritional benefit, your immune system takes a nose dive. Then you run off to work, go shopping, or send the kids off to school where you have a good chance of running into an opportunistic virus or bacteria. With your immune system on the low side of efficiency and your body attempting to recover from that meal, you’re an easy target.
Breakfast can be a quick meal that fuels the body until lunch and providing all the get-up-and-go that you need. Stay tuned for 20 healthier breakfast options coming up soon. You will want to avoid sugary carbs and empty calories. It isn't about filling the belly, it is about getting needed vitamins and minerals.
Many people say they just can't afford to eat better. In my own personal experience in eating and working with others, you save money. Let me say that again. Learning to eat healthy actually SAVES YOU MONEY. For one, you just don't have the cravings. Empty carbs leave you wanting more. When we changed our diet, my kids ate less food and were better nourished.
Let’s Get Real, we all have lots to do and need quick and easy options. But don't sacrifice your health! We need to fuel our body with good, simple, and nutritious meals to get our days started better!