Be Fit With Me
Breakfast is the most important meal of the
Even if you eat a healthy morning meal every
day, it can be tough to get yourselves fueled up in time for school. But it's
important to try. Here's how to make breakfast more appealing for everyone.
Bother With Breakfast?
Breakfast is a great way to give the body the
refueling it needs. Children who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall
and are more likely to participate in physical activities — two great ways to
help maintain a healthy weight.
Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired,
restless, or irritable. In the morning, your bodies need to refuel for the day
ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Your mood and
energy can drop by midmorning if you don't eat at least a small morning meal.
starts the body's metabolism; the process by which the body converts the fuel
in food to energy. When the metabolism gets moving, the body starts burning
people who don't eat breakfast often consume more calories throughout the day
and are more likely to be overweight.
That's because someone who skips breakfast is likely to get hungry before
lunchtime and start eating high-calorie food snacks or even overeat at lunch.
important for you to have breakfast every day, but what you
eat in the morning is important too. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in
whole grains, fiber,
and protein while low in added sugar may boost your attention span, concentration,
and memory — which you need to learn in school.
By eating breakfast, you are more likely to get
fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. You also tend to keep your
weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences
from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints
related to hunger.
Making Breakfast Happen
It would be great to serve whole-grain waffles,
fresh fruit, and low-fat milk each morning. But it can be difficult for parents
to make a healthy breakfast happen when they are rushing to get themselves and
the kids ready in the morning and juggling the general household chaos.
So, here are some suggestions for parents to
ensure that — even in a rush — your kids get a good breakfast before they're
out the door:
stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options
prepare as much as you can the night before
(get dishes and utensils ready, cut up fruit, etc.)
get everyone up 10 minutes earlier
let kids help plan and prepare breakfast
have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit;
individual boxes or baggies of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal; yogurt or
smoothies) on days when there is little or no time to eat
If kids aren't hungry first thing in the
morning, be sure to pack a breakfast that they can eat a little later on the
bus or between classes. Fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, or half a peanut butter and
banana sandwich are nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to take along.
to eat a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbohydrates are a good
source of immediate energy for the body. Fiber helps provide a feeling of
fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. When combined with healthy drinks,
fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and
Good sources of these nutrients include:
carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice,
whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables
or nonfat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters),
seeds, and cooked dried beans
breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits,
vegetables, beans, and nuts
Tip for Parents: Don't
forget how important your good example is. Let your kids see you making time to
enjoy breakfast every day. Even if you just wash down some whole-wheat toast
and a banana with a glass of juice or milk, you're showing how important it is
to the day only after refueling your brain and body with a healthy morning