1. Breakfast helps to regulate your blood sugar
You are fasting the whole night. When you wake up, your body is low on glucose. This makes you tired and foggy. You need something to wake you up, and give you the energy you need to start the day. That something is breakfast.
2. Eating breakfast speeds up your metabolism
When you give your body the fuel it needs, it can use that energy and burn it. Not eating breakfast slows the body down and does not allow it to work as efficiently. This leads me to the next point:
3. Eat great, lose weight
Burning energy means burning calories. Many think skipping meals will help them lose weight. The opposite is true. When you deprive the body of food, the body protects itself by holding onto energy--calories. When one eats well, the body has the fuel it needs to run efficiently and it can then allow itself to give a little (i.e. lose calories). In addition, those who skip meals, especially breakfast, often end up getting so hungry later on that they are more prone to not only be less mindful of what they are eating, but may overeat or binge. This packs on the pounds.
Breakfast makes you healthier
Experts say people who eat breakfast have a better chance of reaching their daily requirements of dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In fact, it even seems that those who eat breakfast take in more whole grains and milk than those who do not.
Eating breakfast = healthier, happier and smarter kids
Kids especially need breakfast in the morning. Growing bodies require a tremendous amount of nutrients and, at certain ages, more calories than adults. Kids cannot afford to skip breakfast--or any meals. That morning glucose boost creates satiation and energy. It also helps to regulate a child's mood, cutting down on crankiness from being hungry. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast do better academically. It's no wonder, since the brain needs to be fed in order to focus.
Ok, you convinced me.....what should I eat?
Great question! You do not need a feast in order to give your body and brain the proper fuel to operate in the morning. It is best to consume something that contains carbohydrates for immediate energy, protein for blood sugar stability, and healthy fats and fiber for fullness. You have a world of choices, from old fashioned eggs with toast and orange juice, to a fruit smoothie with oats and milk, to cereal, to even a peanut butter sandwich with bananas or other fruit. However, in the spirit of this article, here's one of my kids' favorites: Chocolate Chip Oat Pancakes! Here we have grains, healthy fats, and protein in these nice little cakes. Add some fruit and you are all set for a great meal to begin a great day!
(To read more articles on breakfast, see Sources at the end of this post)
Chocolate Chip Oat Pancakes
Makes approximately 24 pancakes
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nut flour (or finely ground nuts)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup morena or coconut palm sugar (click for more info)
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups milk or milk alternative (soy, rice, almond milks, etc)
2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup whole oats
1 cup chocolate chips
Oil for frying
Put flour, nuts, flax seeds, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Sift with a fork and mix well.
Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir until combined.
Fold in oats, mix a bit, and then chocolate chips. Make sure the ingredients are thoroughly blended. The batter may be a bit lumpy; that is ok.
Heat a large frying pan or skillet on high. Place 2 Tbsp. oil in the frying pan. Let it get very hot. Using a large spoon, drop in the batter until you have filled the space in the pan or skillet. Let batter bubble, then flip to the other side. After the first batch, turn down heat to medium or medium low. Be careful because as the pan gets hotter, the pancakes cook more quickly and can easily burn. Cooking time is generally shorter with the remaining batches.
Put the pancakes onto a plate. Repeat the process and keep adding pancakes to the plate until all the batter has been used.
Sources for Article:
1. "Why is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?" UPMC Health Beat
2. "Breakfast: Is it the Most Important Meal?" Web MD