With school starting, I thought I’d share with you all one of the most important things you can do to help your child be at their best throughout the day: breakfast.
It’s a simple but unfortunate fact of life these days. Just about everyone is pressed for time and it’s often difficult to find as little as 15 to 20 minutes in the morning to prepare and eat a decent breakfast before the family heads off to school and work. That’s why even the most even the most health-conscious among us may be tempted to skip breakfast in order to eke out a few more “productive” minutes during our crowded day.
But here’s the downside… While it may sound like an empty cliché coined by the cereal companies, breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. Need evidence? Numerous studies have demonstrated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day in terms of maintaining energy and brain function. People who eat a good breakfast consistently perform better on tests and report feeling more energetic than those who decide to skip it. Simply put, eating a good breakfast is one of the best things you can do for your health.
So what exactly is a “good” breakfast in this day and age? Let’s start with what it isn’t. It isn’t foods that contain lots of refined sugar. This disqualifies that tempting breakfast Danish right off the bat, as well as most sugary breakfast cereals marketed to kids. The better choice may be what our grandparents used to eat; eggs, fruit, dairy and whole grains, which will provide you with steady energy to keep you going until lunchtime. Here are some other healthy breakfast ideas in this vein:
For the calories consumed, eggs provide a considerable amount of nutrition in the form of protein and minerals. There is nothing faster and easier (short of resorting to packaged foods likely to be high in fat, sugar and/or salt) than cooking up a quick batch of scrambled eggs in the morning. Just break a couple of eggs into a bowl, whisk them briefly, then add to the pan. As they begin to cook, add a handful of chopped veggies. In less than five minutes you have a healthy, fast and easy breakfast. Even kids love it!
Whole grain breads and cereals such as oatmeal provide healthy fiber and B vitamins. A whole grain English muffin topped with lox will give you a dose of omega-3, which plays a role in your brain function, helps prevent heart disease and also reduces inflammation. If you are gluten-free, substitute that English muffin with a gluten-free bagel or have a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal has been shown not only to lower cholesterol, but also to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It is one of the best sources of soluble and insoluble fiber, which promotes good digestion and helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, so you won’t start to get hungry halfway through your morning.
Try adding blueberries to your morning bowl of oatmeal for an extra special breakfast treat. In addition to providing powerful antioxidants, blueberries have been shown to protect against cancer and promote healthy bone growth. Containing only 57 calories, a serving of 3.5 ounces of blueberries contains 25% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C.
The humble smoothie may be the king of quick and easy breakfast choices—lots of nutrients in a cup that you can drink on the go. Plus, the recipe options are endless. All it takes is a short YouTube search or a little bit of imagination. Throw a few items into a blender, hit the pulse button, and breakfast can be ready in seconds, giving you a good supply of calcium, vitamins and antioxidants. Just one smoothie can fulfill most of the suggested daily requirement for fruits and vegetables, depending on what you put in it. Try Dr. Ratio’s Body Balance Shake, a dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan alternative for breakfast.
Need a head start on preparation in the morning? Here’s an idea… Before going to bed at night, plan what you will eat for breakfast the next morning, set out any non-perishable ingredients and set the table. This way, a fast and easy breakfast is already half prepared and you are not as likely to skip it due to being rushed.
As chiropractic physicians, we work closely with our patients to help them develop good lifestyle habits (particularly in the areas of nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management) that prevent future health problems. If you have questions or concerns related to health and wellness, we encourage you to call or visit our office. We’ll be happy to help!