Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is this meal that gets the body moving, the blood circulating, and the brain alert and functioning. Without breakfast, many people become irritable, and do not perform to their maximum abilities. Young children, in particular, have encountered serious challenges trying to learn when they have not eaten the proper meal in the morning. As a result, many schools in the US and Canada, now have breakfast programs, so that children can be assured of the proper nutrients to begin their study days. But, what constitutes a healthy breakfast? Many people just stop by the drive-thru on the way to work picking up a coffee and donut. Organizers of conferences, typically, offer platters of croissants, pastries, and muffins for the morning breaks. Although it is nice to have these as treats once in a while, we suggest the following four healthy breakfast ideas.
Add fruit to any breakfast
Instead of eating a whole orange or apple, for instance, which is not as appealing to most people, slice the fruit into nice pieces, and arrange them on a plate. Then you can add your other items such as twelve-grain toast, whole wheat scone, or low-sugar bran muffin. If you are eating a bowl of cereal, cut a banana into chunks or thin slices and drop on top of the cereal. Yogurt also works nicely with fruit in the morning for breakfast. For this, you just cut up different types of fruit, combining them in the same bowl as a fruit cocktail or fruit salad, then spoon the yogurt over top. To finish off this lovely, but easy breakfast, sprinkle some homemade granola or crushed bran flakes on top. If you absolutely do not have either fresh fruit or frozen fruit in the house, at the very least, have a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast.
A hot breakfast is nice even in the summer months.
We all tire of boring, cold cereal. One way to spruce up the doldrums is by eating hot or warm cereal. If you do not have time to make some form of porridge, why not heat your milk and pour it over the cereal? This makes the cereal more palatable, plus, it is very nutritious especially when the weather is cold or rainy. Add some dried fruits such as apricots, plantain, figs or dates, along with crushed nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, soy or sunflowers, and your breakfast will perk you up real fast. Plus, it is much easier to get children to eat when they have fun things to place on the top like a sundae.
Eat eggs and toast with fruit or juice.
Many studies have shown that women who eat two eggs and two pieces of toast for breakfast are less likely to get hungry during the morning hours. By adding a glass of juice or even some slices of fruit, this meal is actually quite healthy. But, there are a few food items to avoid:
- Replace white bread with high grain and low salt breads. Check the labels for fiber content. Avoid breads with trans fats.
- Do not slather your toast in butter. Instead, use a HeartSmart™ margarine with no salt, no trans fat, and the recommended doses of plant sterols.
- Do not fry the eggs in animal fat, butter, grease, lard, or any other fat-laden oils. Try using a very small amount of olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil. Be sure these are salt-free and trans fat-free.
Lastly, there is some debate about egg yolks and cholesterol. If your doctor has advised against eating the yolks, then you need to heed the recommendation. But, someone who is not eating dozens of eggs each week does not have to worry about the problem. It has been found that unless eggs are eaten in inordinate quantities, they do not cause the level of cholesterol originally assumed. There are, of course, egg substitute products on the market.
To get your daily requirement in fruit and vegetables, why not scramble the eggs together with zucchini, red, yellow or green peppers, onions, celery or any other vegetables in the house. Add a few slices of fruit on the plate, and you have a healthy and exciting breakfast.
Sandwiches are nice for breakfast, too.
There are many healthy sandwich combinations to have for breakfast. Just be sure to add some slices of produce to your whole grain bagel, whole wheat scone, or high grain bread. And dispense with fatty dressings. Sour cream is a better option.