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In a pickle: How to eat a smart and healthy breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure you’re getting the fuel you need to sustain you all day!

A complete guide to breakfast
Woman eating yogurt

A Kellogg’s survey of 14,000 Americans found that only 34 percent eat breakfast daily. Almost all Americans agree, though, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If we know it’s so important, why aren’t we able to find the time to eat it?

Let’s take a look at some easy ways to start eating breakfast and the benefits it will provide you.

First, the benefits…

Breakfast jump-starts our metabolism. It gives us the energy we need to get started on our days (paired with a cup of coffee, of course) and gets our blood pumping. Other benefits of eating breakfast include:

  • Improved concentration and increased focus.
  • Ability to maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Improved mood.
  • Increased chances of healthier eating later in the day.
  • Lowered cholesterol.
  • Increased problem-solving skills, especially for students.

Make it a habit

It takes 21 days to form a habit and eating breakfast is no exception. Once you’re in the habit of eating breakfast, you won’t be able to go without. Find a way to make it enjoyable. We suggest waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal and doing something just for you while you eat. This could be reading the paper, going for a short walk or enjoying some quiet time on your patio. Make eating breakfast something you look forward to!

Simplify the meal

If you’re not a fan of cereal, don’t eat cereal. If the thought of cooking eggs in the morning makes you cringe, don’t cook. The key to eating breakfast is to make it enjoyable. There are plenty of quick and healthy no-cook options you can choose for breakfast.

Be prepared in advance

Just like you plan out your dinners, breakfast should be planned out, too. Make a large fruit salad on the weekend to last you all week, stock your fridge with low-fat yogurt and have a box or two of healthy granola bars on hand in case you’re in a rush one morning. Other healthy foods to eat in the morning include cottage cheese, almond butter on whole wheat toast, oatmeal and fresh breakfast smoothies.

When things get rushed, don’t skip breakfast

It’s easy to get rushed in the morning, especially if you have little kids, and decide it’s best to just skip breakfast in order to save time. It’s better in the long run if you spend a little less time getting ready than if you skip breakfast, though. It’s also not a bad idea to have a back-up plan for those hectic mornings, including keeping an energy bar in your car or almonds in your desk at work.

What breakfast should consist of

Eating anything is better than nothing, but if you’re looking to have a well-balanced meal in the morning, your breakfast should consist of a grain, a fruit or vegetable and a dairy product. A perfect, yet simple, example would be whole grain toast with peanut butter, an apple and a glass of low-fat milk. Easy, cheap and filling — just how we like it!

More on breakfast

Healthy grab-and-go breakfast ideas
Balanced breakfast ideas for busy mornings
On the go: 5 Breakfasts that travel well

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