More Americans, especially adolescents, are skipping the most important meal of the day—breakfast. Here are some reasons to include a balanced breakfast in your routine:
Break the fast. The body burns energy during sleep, so energy sources are low when you wake-up. Breakfast revs up the body for the rest of the day by boosting energy, keeping eating patterns even and stimulating metabolism.
Optimal performance during the day. Studies show that breakfast helps improve mental performance. Kids who eat breakfast have better concentration and problem solving ability; are more active, attentive and creative; and score higher on tests. They are also less tired, irritable and restless. Bottom line: children who eat breakfast do better in school.
Breakfast is the meal of champions. Without breakfast the energy tank runs low, making exercise and competition difficult. Kids who eat breakfast have more strength and endurance. A healthy sports breakfast might include: low fat yogurt, bananas, bran muffins, oranges, or peanut butter and raisins.
Better school attendance. Children who eat breakfast miss fewer days of school. Proper nutrition benefits the immune system.
No need to be fancy or traditional. Leftover pizza, a piece of fruit and a glass of milk. Whole wheat toast with low fat cheese. Peanut butter and apple. A breakfast smoothie of fruit, milk and yogurt. Last night’s casserole. Tortilla with a scrambled egg and salsa.
A slimmer waistline. Thirty percent of children are either at risk for obesity or are overweight. People who eat breakfast daily are nearly 50% less likely to be overweight compared to those who skip breakfast. Individuals who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day; therefore, less likely to overeat.
Improves daily nutritional intake. Breakfast works wonders for improving the quality of your diet. It provides the opportunity to include essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. One-third of children who don’t eat breakfast fail to meet their daily protein requirement. Seventy-five percent of children who skip breakfast don’t meet the recommended daily allowance for calcium.
Take the breakfast challenge to get up a little earlier, enjoy the quietness of the day, and fuel your body.