Is eating breakfast the last thing on your morning to-do list? By skipping a morning meal, you are missing out on tons of health benefits!

A healthy breakfast…

  • Refuels your body and helps you meet essential nutrient needs (i.e. vitamins and minerals).
  • Boosts brainpower to enhance alertness and productivity at school or work.
  • Builds a better body by boosting your metabolism, which can ultimately improve your body composition.
  • Helps reduce your risk of lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.
  • Can increase the effectiveness of your exercise program.
  • Can improve mood and stress control.

Eating a balanced breakfast is not always easy. Due to busy lifestyles and demands on our time, we often resort to grabbing a quick, easy bite to eat that is often high in calories and low in nutrition. If this sounds familiar, it is time to get real and make a change. Doing so may require that you practice a little “mind over mattress”. Rest assured, the positive benefit of getting up 15 minutes earlier to eat a nutritious breakfast far outweighs the benefit of that extra time in bed.

Once you have made the decision to develop this new habit, it is time to consider what you should be eating. A healthy breakfast should leave us feeling satisfied and provide us adequate energy to start the day. To meet this objective, breakfast needs to be a combination of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat. Choose whole grains (toast, bagel, English muffin, oats), lean proteins (eggs, ham, powdered peanut butter), low-fat dairy (Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, cottage cheese), fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado).

Below are two examples of what a balanced breakfast can look like:

Overnight Oats made by layering ½ cup dry oats, ½ cup low fat milk, 1 (5.3oz) container Greek yogurt and topped with 1 cup of fruit (375 calories, 60 grams carbohydrate, 25.5 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 13 grams fiber).

Breakfast Sandwich made with 1 whole grain bagel thin, 2 sunny-side-up eggs, 2 slices of Canadian bacon or ham and topped with a sprinkle of cheese and paired with 1 medium piece of fruit (470 calories, 54 grams carbohydrate, 33 grams protein, 9.5 grams fat, 7 grams fiber).

This week, focus on eating a balanced breakfast every morning and get your day started right!