Breakfast: A Healthy Habit

By Robin Quay, MS, RD, Sodexo Dietitian

Studies show that people, who eat a healthy breakfast, have a lot of other healthy habits which help them weigh less, feel better, and have more energy for work, fitness and leisure activities. People who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat healthier foods throughout the day, and tend to exercise. People who skip breakfast, or grab a donut or a fast food breakfast, tend to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day. They also tend to be people who don’t exercise.

Eating a healthy breakfast can be an important step on the road to health and wellness. A nutritious breakfast contributes important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to the diet, ensuring that you are getting everything you need so your body can perform efficiently. Breakfasts that contain protein and whole grains can help you feel full until lunchtime, so you avoid an unhealthy snack midmorning, reducing calorie, fat and sugar intake. It has been suggested that eating breakfast may reduce hunger during the day, leading to lower calorie intake, which can help maintain a healthy weight. The energy provided by eating breakfast may increase physical activity during the day.

A healthy breakfast should contain fruit and/or vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Here are some quick and easy ideas to get you started.

Fresh fruit and yogurt with nuts or granola topping

Whole wheat bread or toast with natural peanut butter or almond butter and fresh fruit

Eggs, whole wheat toast and fruit

Breakfast sandwich made with a whole wheat English muffin, egg, cheese, tomato and raw spinach

Oatmeal with fresh fruit and nuts

Veggie omelet with whole wheat toast

Smoothie made with milk, fruit, leafy greens and nut butter (I find that these don’t have much staying power, so I eat a hard-boiled egg on the side.)

Banana with peanut butter

Whole grain cereal with milk and fruit (cereal should have at least 3 gm of fiber per serving, and no more than 6 gms of sugar per serving).

If you don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning, you can make it ahead of time. Oatmeal heats up quickly in the microwave, and hard-boiled eggs are precooked and ready when you are. A peanut butter sandwich can be made the night before.

Start with a healthy breakfast, and all kinds of good things will follow!

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3 responses to “Breakfast: A Healthy Habit

  1. What would you say is a target caloric intake for breakfast? I usually stay around 250.

  2. Number of calories for breakfast depends on your overall calorie needs for the day…I usually suggest 1/4-1/3 of your calories be consumed at breakfast. So…if you are eating 2000 calories a day, that would be 500-667 calories for breakfast.

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