Dietitians Dish: Start day out right with breakfast
Ever heard that old saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" Well now, is it really? Research is showing multiple benefits to eating breakfast.
Reducing hunger. By eating breakfast, you are filling your "gas tank" instead of trying to go to the last drop. Eating breakfast gives you fuel when you need it and prevents you from overeating at later meals. Research shows people who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day compared to those who don't eat breakfast.
More energy. By eating breakfast, you are providing your body with energy it needs to function throughout the day. It can also help decrease irritability throughout the day. Breakfast does not always have to be a sit-down meal and a big ordeal. Consider the following recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for quick and easy breakfast ideas.
If you wake up early, eat this:
Scrambled eggs or egg whites can be served with turkey bacon, fruit and whole-wheat toast.
Make a frittata or omelet to get in your protein and your vegetables.
If you hit the snooze button one time, eat this:
English muffin sandwich: Toast an English muffin. Put low-fat cheese and sliced deli ham on the toasted muffin. Warm the sandwich in the microwave to melt the cheese. Grab a piece of fruit for a complete breakfast. You can also make these ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate for those days when you push the snooze button more than once.
Breakfast tacos: Scramble and cook one egg (or two egg whites). Serve eggs, salsa and low-fat cheese in corn tortillas. If you don't like corn tortillas, consider whole-wheat tortillas.
Cereal with some color: Cut up some fresh fruit and add to an unsweetened breakfast cereal.
If you hit the snooze button three (or more) times, eat this:
45-second scrambled eggs: Put eggs and a splash of milk in a mug or bowl, scramble it up, put it in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir it up and put it back in for another 10 seconds. And your scrambled eggs are done. You can eat it right out of the mug or the bowl it is in. You can add cheese or salsa/pico de gallo to this to for a little extra flavor.
Peanut butter sandwich or waffle: Grab a banana while you're at it.
Cream cheese on bread: Try it on a bagel, tortillas or the sandwich/bagel thins.
Time should not be an excuse to miss breakfast. Above were some excellent examples of quick and nutritious ways to work breakfast into your daily routine.
Elizabeth Sommerfeld is the clinical nutrition manager/bariatric coordinator at DeTar Healthcare Systems. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and has a Master of Science degree. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.