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September is National Breakfast Month

What is the most important meal of the day? I bet all of our us can say that, as we were growing up, our moms and grandmas kept telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For some, even though they are well beyond their teenage years, they might still hear the same thing from their parents! To be honest, I am not big on breakfast. Only when I go on vacation and the hotel has a nice breakfast buffet do I make it a point to sit down for breakfast.

Breakfast Buffet

Breakfast Buffet

Still, we can’t deny that breakfast plays a huge role. This month is National Breakfast Month, so I decided to take a closer look at the first meal of the day. Some of us may take it for granted, others may totally ignore it. After this post, hopefully we’ll all make an effort to pay a little more attention to the most important meal of the day.

Why Breakfast Is Important

Why is breakfast so important anyway? There is no lack for studies which highlight the benefits of having breakfast. For example, some studies show that children who eat breakfast before going to school perform better cognitively. It is quite logical to assume that the same thing applies to adults. After all, we do use our brains at work as well.

Here are other benefits of eating breakfast:

  • Energy to start the day
  • Weight control
  • More nutritionally complete diet
  • More strength and endurance for physical activity throughout the day
  • Have lower cholesterol

What Makes a Good Breakfast?

So maybe you’re a little convinced that you ought to try to have breakfast. What should you eat? According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, a healthy breakfast has the following components:

    • Whole grains. Whole grains can be found in cereals, bread, crackers, and muffins.
    • Low-fat protein. Low-fat protein can found in eggs (hardboiled is best), peanut butter, lean meat, fish, and poultry.
    • Low-fat dairy. For low-fat dairy, you can choose from low-fat milk, skim milk, low-fat yoghurt, and low-fat cheeses.
    • Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables and their derivatives (e.g., juices) are always good for breakfast.

It is a good idea to combine these components for your first meal of the day. You don’t necessarily have to eat a lot, but a balanced combination will give you the maximum benefits.

Great Breakfast Ideas

Whole Grains

Double Whole Grain Pancakes

Double Whole Grain Pancakes

Pancakes are perhaps one of the most popular things people eat for breakfast. There are a thousand and one ways to make pancakes, but not all of them are really healthy. This recipe for Double Whole Grain Pancakes will ensure that you get your whole grains and stay healthy at the same time. Even better, they take only a few minutes to prepare!

If you want something heavier than pancakes, then you ought to consider muffins. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind having Whole Grain Banana Muffins in the morning.

Now if you want to add a little crunch to your breakfast, why don’t you try this recipe for Grain and Nut Whole Wheat Pancakes? Alternatively, this Mixed-Grain Cereal with Chai Spice concoction will definitely give you the energy that you need.

More breakfast ideas that will give you your whole grain requirement.

Low-fat Protein

Easy Egg Breakfast Quesadillas

Easy Egg Breakfast Quesadillas

I think that whenever I do pay attention to breakfast, it’s mostly the protein that gets me. I do not think, however that I always have low-fat protein, so this needs some work. How about you?

When it comes to protein, bacon and sausages are usually at the top of the list of people who eat breakfast. Let’s make a little compromise and try this Easy Egg Breakfast Quesadillas recipe, which does have some bacon – Canadian-style. This bacon has less fat than others. Also, the recipe has eggs, which are protein-packed as well. Another alternative is this Asparagus and Canadian Bacon Omelet.

Oh, speaking of eggs, how do you like your eggs? The best way to avoid fat is to boil or poach your eggs. I guess everyone knows how to make a hardboiled egg, but just in case…Here’s a recipe for Divine Hardboiled Eggs. And here is how you poach eggs. To make your eggs a little more interesting, try this recipe for Poached Eggs Over Spinach and Mushrooms. You get your veggies with your protein at the same time!

These recipes will make you want to get up for breakfast even on the weekends.

Dairy, Vegetables, and Fruits

Great Grape Smoothie

Great Grape Smoothie

As for dairy and vegetables, you have even more options to choose from. You can always go for fresh fruit – whatever is available – or you can go for fruit juices. It would be better to avoid those with too much sugar in them, though. For a great combination, try this Great Grape Smoothie, which ensures that you get only natural sugars. If you don’t like grape, then this Mango-Strawberry Smoothie might make you happy instead. For more fruits in one drink, try this Tropical Mango Smoothie.

Eating breakfast regularly may take a bit of effort in the beginning, but just give it a try. You just might see the difference, and then you’ll see that it can become part of your daily routine. Have a great September, everyone, and stay healthy!

Breakfast Buffet photo via iatraveler

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