“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Moms Everywhere
Yes, mom was right. Breakfast is an important way to start the day, for kids and adults alike. Skipping breakfast can lead to erratic eating patterns throughout the day, indulgence in more junk food and ultimately, weight gain. Here are three benefits of eating breakfast:
- Breakfast Jump-Starts the Gut: Studies show that people who begin the day with a balanced breakfast of protein, carbs, and fiber tend to eat less junk food during the day because it primes the brain and gut to expect (and crave) nutritious food for the rest of the day.
- Breakfast Jump-Starts the Brain: When you sleep, you’re fasting. Breaking your fast revs up your metabolism, and perks up the brain. Eating a nutritious breakfast and feeding your neurotransmitters, the neurochemical messengers that rev up your brain and steady your moods, will help you feel energized and relaxed during the day.
- Breakfast Keeps You Lean: Skipping breakfast will not help you lose weight! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner because by “front-loading,” they prepare their bodies for the rest of the day.
Before you reach for the coffee and donut and call it “breakfast,” it’s important to understand that all breakfasts are not created equal! A coffee and donut, or even a bowl of many popular cereals, does not fit the bill for a balanced, brainy breakfast.
A brainy breakfast includes Green and Yellow Traffic Light foods with the right balance of complex carbohydrates and proteins to both stimulate and relax the brain for optimal performance. Protein perks up the brain and, because the body takes longer to digest protein than carbs, it helps you stay comfortably full for a longer period. A high-fiber breakfast of slow-release carbs prevents midmorning crashes and sugar cravings.
If cereal is the breakfast of choice in your home, you should look for the following:
- Cereal made from whole grains, not just “wheat”
- At least 3 grams of protein per serving
- Less than 6 grams of sugar per serving
- At least 3 grams of fiber per serving
- No hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, or high fructose
If you’re ready to eat brainy breakfasts, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule your pantry makeover – the first step to a healthier you. Want to learn more about making healthy eating choices?
© 2016 – Dr. Sears Wellness Institute
Fruity French Toast
Makes: 6 pieces of French toast Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup thawed 100% orange or pineapple juice concentrate (do not dilute)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 6 slices whole grain bread
1. Mix all ingredients together except the bread and oil.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet.
3. Soak the bread in the egg mixture and carefully place it in the skillet. 4. Brown on both sides and serve!
Tricks for Dining Out With Kids
- Ditch the kids’ menu. The kids’ menu is filled with some of the junkiest foods around – hot dogs, breaded and processed chicken and French fries. Instead, look for healthy menu items like soups, salads with grilled fish and sandwiches with lean meats that you can ask for a smaller portion of or just share with your child. Don’t want to eat the same thing as your child? Order a “to go” box right when their plate is delivered, then pack half of the meal right away. This can also help mom and dad control those notoriously large restaurant meal portions sizes too!
- Start with soup and salad. Fibrous foods like salads or veggie rich broth-based soups are a great start to a restaurant meal because they’re filling without the fat. That way if your kids insist on ordering something less than perfectly healthy they won’t want as much of it once it arrives.
- Offer choices to your child. As you look through the menu together, point out three or four healthy choices