NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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Why Breakfast?

Breakfast, Better Breakfast Month

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension News/Family and Community Wellness

There is no better time to celebrate breakfast than during the entire month of September. It’s Better Breakfast Month!

Today’s culture is busy and people are oftentimes on the move among work, school, events and other activities throughout the day. Many people have to rush out the door in the morning and do not take time to eat a complete breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Starting your day with a nutritious meal can help you continue to make healthful decisions throughout the rest of the day. Breakfast helps keep your mind alert so you can focus in class or at work.

Research shows that kids who eat breakfast generally have healthier weights and perform better on memory tests than those who don't.

Eating breakfast in the morning also helps you avoid midmorning hunger and munching on less healthful snacks or convenience foods. According to Harvard Health, a study conducted with 16,452 Americans shows that those who eat breakfast are leaner than people who skip breakfast.

Be sure to eat breakfast every day and also maintain or improve your health by eating a complete breakfast.

A complete breakfast includes protein, fruit, whole grains and dairy. Protein is important to keep you feeling full longer. Good sources of protein at breakfast are eggs, peanut butter, nuts, sausage or ham. Fruit contains vitamins you need every day to keep your body healthy. Try an apple, banana, orange, melon, berries or raisins, to name a few.

Whole grains are packed with energy and nutrients to keep you going until lunch. Whole grains often are eaten for breakfast in whole-wheat cereal or bread, oatmeal, and whole-wheat pancake or muffin mixes.

Dairy is an important sources of calcium for strong bones. Many dairy products are fortified with vitamin A and D to help your bones stay strong. Try milk, cheese or yogurt. If you cannot drink milk due to an allergy or sensitivity of another reason, goat milk or nondairy milk such as almond or soy are good substitutes for regular cow’s milk.

Try these ideas for a complete breakfast on a busy morning:

Smoothies made with fruit, yogurt and oatmeal are easy to drink in the car on the way to work or school.

Keep individual yogurts and portion-size bags of nuts and dried fruit on hand to grab in the morning on the way out the door.

Make extra egg and cheese sandwiches to freeze and re-heat in the microwave. Serve with orange slices.

Have hard-cooked eggs in the fridge to eat along with a piece of toast, banana slices and a glass of milk.

Make a large batch of pancakes or waffles to freeze in individual portions. Pop one serving into the toaster at a time for a hot breakfast. Top a pancake or a waffle with peanut butter and fruit, and serve with a glass of milk.

For more information about breakfast and recipes, see “Now Serving: Breakfast” (FN694) at www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/food-nutrition/now-serving-breakfast.

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