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Breakfast: Start Your Day Right

A good breakfast, for young and old alike is a great way to start your day right, mentally and physically.

Breakfast often contains carbohydrates which are a quick source of energy to fuel your brain after a night’s sleep. Breakfast helps meet nutrient needs for the day; it helps you stay alert; it has been shown to improve cogitative performance for both those in school and on the job; and helps to control weight. It has been shown that those who ate breakfast had a reduced need to indulge in high calorie snacks during the mid-morning and were less likely to overeat at lunch.

Breakfast does not have to be chore or take extra time with a little planning. Planning helps to improve the nutrient content as well as save on the cost. When planning, include whole grains, low fat, lean meat, or fruits and vegetables with little or no added sugars or fats. Items to avoid include sugar coated cereal, doughnuts, pastries and many of the high calorie muffins or high calorie granola bars.

You, or family members may not have the time for the “sit down” breakfast, so having a supply of “on the go” items is helpful. Excellent choices include: yogurt and granola; fresh fruits or vegetables; microwave oatmeal in a cup with milk and added raisins and nuts; trail mix which combines low fat cereals, raisins and nuts; hard boiled eggs; cold pizza; a glass of 100% juice or low fat or skim milk; whole wheat toast; whole grain muffins with little sugar added; yogurt/fruit based smoothies; a breakfast burrito; and last but not least, the old standby – peanut butter and jelly.

Planned breakfasts can be very inexpensive. Having something at home is often less costly than convenience stores or drive up’s. Individual items on the dollar menu can easily add up to $3-$4 per day which computes $15-$20 per month for five days per week, or $60-$80 per month.

Having food prepared and ready to go from home saves time in the morning rush, as well as the expense of planning a route by the drive up or convenience store.

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