It’s 7:13 on a Monday morning and you’re running late for class. Your books are still spread out on your bedroom floor and that Spanish homework is far from finished.
Let’s face it: high school students aren’t relaxed — especially in the morning. Many stay up late, and by the time morning rolls around, breakfast is usually the last thing on their minds.
But breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives the body and mind a jumpstart. Children who eat nutritious breakfasts perform better academically, show positive behavior and are healthier than their peers who skip morning meal, according to studies by the Harvard Medical School.
Overnight, we use up our body’s available glucose. By morning time, the body is essentially fasting. Breakfast replenishes this much-needed glucose and provides teenagers and adults with the fuel they need to maintain their energy throughout the morning.
While it might seem you could save calories by skipping breakfast, people who consistently do so miss one-fourth to one-third of the day’s energy and dietary needs. Typically, hunger gets the best of these people and they may eat more at lunch or snack excessively throughout the day. Eating a good, balanced meal to “break your fast” in the morning will give your metabolism a boost and keep your body on a regimented eating schedule.
But what exactly makes up a healthy breakfast? Eating a healthy breakfast means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good and have energy. A balanced breakfast should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy or lean protein.
Many parents buy cereals or frozen items that are high in sugar and calories. Cut back on sugary brand-name cereals like Fruit Loops or Frosted Flakes and instead, try healthier options like Raisin Bran or Cheerios. Also, try cutting back on pastries and processed meats, like bacon and sausage, because they slow the body down and provide more sugar and fat than nutrients.
If you think you don’t have time to eat breakfast, there are grab-and-go options that are just as beneficial. Try these quick simple recipes for healthy breakfast options:
Fage plain fat-free Greek yogurt (18g of protein), two scoops of all natural Kashi GoLean vanilla granola (13g of protein), one spoon of agave nectar (1g of natural sugar) and fresh berries.
Vans multigrain waffle (28 g carbs) with all-natural peanut butter (7 g protein), add sprinkle of raisins or choice of fruit (cuts the sugar and boosts the protein).
Egg white sandwich:
A cooked egg white, basil leaves and sprinkle of salt on whole wheat bread. One large egg contains 6 grams of protein.
Butterless banana bread with a few scoops of Chobani fat-free vanilla yogurt (16g protein, 13 grams of sugar):
Ingredients: 3 large ripe bananas, ¼ cup applesauce, ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ cup brown sugar, ¾ cup of raisins or mini chocolate chips (optional), 1 large egg, 1 ½ cup of flour (white or wheat)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease one loaf pan. Mash the bananas with a fork in a bowl. Stir ingredients in order of above list. Pour the ingredients into the pan and bake for 1 hour.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and finding time to eat on a busy morning can mean the difference between havign a good day and a bad day. Start creating good eating habits now that will take you throughout your life.