You’ve heard the old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but do you understand why? Breakfast essentially means “breaking the fast”, not eat the biggest meal of the day. During sleep, your blood sugar drops dramatically because you are not feeding your body any nutrients. Have you ever done a fast before a blood test? Remember how tired you were? When your blood sugar drops, you can experience fatigue, increased hunger and increased body fat storage. Yikes! And you thought skipping a meal would aid in weight loss by saving calories?
The Consequences Here is what skipping breakfast can do for you:
- Hinder weight loss
- Increase weight gain
- Lead to overeating
- Slow down metabolism
- Increase insulin response
- Increase fat storage
The Good Stuff Now lets look at the benefits of eating breakfast and what research has found. Those that eat something in the morning upon waking:
- Make better food choices throughout the day
- Do not overeat later in the day
- Maintain weight and/or have better success at weight loss
- Experience better concentration and boosts performance
- Have increased nutrient intake and immunity
School Age Children It’s important for all individuals regardless of age to eat breakfast, but it’s even more so for children. This area of breakfast and academics have been studied widely and all experts agree that:
- Feeding a healthy breakfast should be a priority
- Better grades, memory and attendance are achieved
- Children from homes of parents that do not eat breakfast, don’t either
- Skipping breakfast is an unhealthy habit that leads to a future of increase chance of being overweight
The Excuses I think I’ve heard every excuse for skipping breakfast, but these are definitely the most popular. As a mother, even I have been guilty of a few of these from time to time!
- I am never hungry in the morning.
- I do not have time to eat breakfast because I am getting the children ready
- It is a struggle to get my kids to come sit down and eat breakfast.
- I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes then make and prepare breakfast
Develop a Plan
“I am never hungry in the morning.” I find that most people who state this are those that have very busy mornings and they do not realize they are hungry, OR they go straight to the coffee pot J
- Start small by choosing a ½ piece of fruit or ½ cup of yogurt.
- Try a smoothie! Some people are just more thirsty than hungry in the morning.
- Try to make it a rule that you will put something in your belly before turning the coffee pot on.
“I do not have time to eat breakfast.” We all wish we could add that extra hour to the day, but there are some things you can do to make more time in the morning:
- Get as much done the night before after the children go to bed such as laying out clothes, making lunches or doing house chores.
- Wake up at least 15 minutes before the children do. It’s amazing how much you can get done without the little ones running around!
- Have the table set for breakfast the night before. If you are serving cereal and fruit, have the bowls, spoons, cups and napkins already on the table. Pre-cut the fruit and keep it in the refrigerator. These are also things the children can help with after dinner, and they will love to have some responsibility!
“It is a struggle to get my kids to come sit down and eat breakfast.” This one depends on why the struggle is happening. The most successful tips I’ve seen are:
- Eating breakfast as a family. Remember, many children that do not eat breakfast, come from homes where the parents don’t!
- Getting kids involved with the preparation the night before or in the morning as stated above.
- Serve fun power-packed smoothies! Some children, just like adults, are more thirsty than hungry in the morning. Design a recipe together and enjoy!
“I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes then make and prepare breakfast.” That extra 15 minutes probably isn’t making a huge difference in your day, but eating breakfast will.
- Try going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier at night and have a minimal-prepared breakfast.
- Make some dishes ahead of time. Cut up some fruit the night before or make a batch of egg wraps and freeze them!
In good health,