Is breakfast really the stuff of champions?

Research recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that skipping breakfast doesn’t have an effect on weight gain.  According to the authors, previous studies have overstated the morning meal’s importance when it comes to weight loss.

Then there are others who consider breakfast an important, if not the most important, meal in a day. Research on the topic may or may not support this. Here we go again.

Not eating a morning meal, however, can lead to a decreased attention span and that uncomfortable mid-morning slump.

I, for one, am a breakfast fan, especially for hard-working adults and active kids.  Here are some suggestions for what to eat after the alarm rings.

  1. Reach for the cereal.  Yes, it is boring but dependable. Nothing is easier than low-fat or fat-free milk, cereal (hot or cold), and a fruit or crunchy nut topping.  Be sure to choose whole grain cereals with low added sugar.  Let the fruit provide extra sweetness and favor.
  2. Swirl up some smoothies.  Keep the blender out and have fat-free yogurt along with frozen, canned, or fresh fruit on hand.  The more adventurous may want to add some flax meal or wheat germ to the mix.  Check out Eating Well for some yummy recipes that include apricots, bananas, and kiwi.
  3. Indulge in a parfait.  This is easy-peasy.  Just make alternate layers of yogurt, cereal, fruit, and nuts for an energy-packed breakfast.  This also works for a quick lunch or snack or dessert.
  4. Roll out the roll-ups.  This is another easy and fun breakfast.  Put thinly sliced low-fat cheese and turkey on a flour tortilla and simply roll up the goodies.  Or, spread peanut butter on the tortilla and add sliced bananas or other sliced fruit.  For a quick breakfast sandwich, try English muffins and bagels with the same toppings.  Just watch the size of bagel that you use.  A two-ounce bagel provides a good base without overdoing the calories.
  5. Prepare a take-along meal.  Juice boxes, whole fruit such as apples, bananas, ripe pears, and bags of homemade trail mix make convenient meals for those days when breakfast must be eaten in the car. For the trail mix, combine cereal, dried fruit, and nuts, and keep them in an air-tight container for quick access.

For more helpful ideas, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers breakfast ideas for kids and teens and for adding veggies to the morning meal.

(Similar article was previously published by author on Examiner.com.)

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