How Can Breakfast Improve Your Health?
Some people skip breakfast due to lack of time, lack of appetite, or both. But what effects does skipping breakfast, often called the "most important meal of the day" have on your health?
Why kids need breakfast
Many kids aren't hungry first thing in the morning but it's a mistake for them to skip breakfast. Studies have shown a relationship between skipping breakfast and body fat in children. If your kid can eat healthy foods at breakfast including protein (eggs, cheese, peanut butter) they will feel fuller longer which will lead to benefits such as:
- higher school attendance
- fewer issues with tardiness
- higher test scores
- improved concentration
- burning more energy
- better muscle coordination
Kid-friendly breakfast recipe ideas include:
A recent University of Arkansas study showed that providing school-aged children increased protein at breakfast decreases hunger and increases fullness for several hours after breakfast compared to a carbohydrate-based breakfast low in protein.
Making breakfast a priority doesn’t have to take up a large portion of the morning.
Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas from EatRight.org to send kids out the door feeling full and ready for the day.
- Layer a fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt with your favorite crunchy cereal and blueberries.
- Blend a breakfast smoothie with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
- Make one packet of microwave oatmeal with fat-free or low-fat milk. Mix in one-quarter cup unsweetened applesauce. Sprinkle with apple pie spice or cinnamon.
- Top a toaster waffle with fat-free or low-fat yogurt and peach slices.
- Spread a flour tortilla with peanut butter. Add a whole banana and roll it up.
Get fix-it-quick breakfast recipes from Howard County agent Jean Ince.
Skipping breakfast in adulthood has been strongly associated with overeating, weight gain and obesity.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a dramatic decline in breakfast consumption, with over 31 million Americans skipping breakfast each day. There is a clear association between breakfast consumption and age. Younger people (ages 18 to 44 years) are more likely to skip breakfast than are middleaged and older adults. Typically, people who skip breakfast are more likely to consume unhealthy foods and beverages and tend to overeat throughout the day.
Choose protein over carbs
A study comparing a protein-based breakfast to a carbohydrate-based breakfast found that overweight women who ate protein for breakfast five times a week for eight weeks lost 65 percent more weight and reduced their waist circumference by 83 percent more than those eating a carbohydrate-based breakfast. Need inspiration for healthy, protien-rich breakfast foods?
Download our Breakfast protein recipes for how to cook protein pancakes, quick egg cups, and slow cooker oatmeal.
- Breakfast and Its Effect on Weight
How can eating breakfast help with weight loss and improve your health? Find out in our fact sheet.
- The Power of Protein at Breakfast for School-Aged Children
Are you choosing the right foods for your kids to succeed in school? Learn which foods are the best to power young minds.