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Good Nutrition Begins With A Healthy Breakfast

Updated on December 5, 2012

Nutritious South Indian Breakfast Ideas-idli, dosa

Idlis eaten with sambar and chutney
Idlis eaten with sambar and chutney
Dosas also eaten with sambar and chutney
Dosas also eaten with sambar and chutney

Off To A Good Start!

Physical and mental health are dependent on what kind of nutrition one gets from the food choices we make. If we need to be healthy and disease free, optimum nutrition levels are to be maintained by eating properly at regular intervals. It has been shown by studies undertaken that children who skip breakfast cannot concentrate in the classroom. Nutrition affects learning ability. Children that do not have breakfast end up in school being cranky, fidgety, and with a lot less attention span. This holds good for all age groups. Adolescents and young women often think that skipping breakfast is the easiest way to weight loss. You see the body needs energy to perform mental and physical tasks and this is provided by the food one eats. The last meal of a day is dinner, and if you have had to miss your breakfast, the period of fasting is extended and the brain cannot function properly. This affects your physical tasks as well. The tendency is then to gorge on sugars or fried and fatty food once you get extremely hungry which then clogs up your mind and arteries and gives rise to mood swings. If this is repeated everyday, you end up becoming overweight and obese. Grabbing a cup of coffee or a candy bar at 11 AM at work is not doing you any good when you have missed breakfast.

Truth is that missing on a meal is not going to help you with weight loss. The body expects to be fueled with regular meals for optimal functioning. Breakfast is rightly called "breaking the fast". Being the first meal of the day, a healthy breakfast gives one energy to sustain through the day, even if your lunch or dinner is delayed. It is not advisable to miss any meal for that matter. It is wise to follow the saying,"Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper". Having a healthy breakfast ensures that you will be off to a flying start to the day, anywhere in the world. Those who regularly begin their day with a breakfast tend to maintain a healthy weight as well.

What Then Is A Healthy Breakfast ?

A healthy breakfast should comprise of some protein and fiber in addition to complex carbohydrates.

Eggs, lean meats, beans, dairy all contribute to the protein. Protein gives you a feeling of satiety, means it keeps you feeling full the entire morning.

Whole grain cereals provide complex carbohydrates, which will break down slowly and give you energy until lunch time. Rich in fiber it prevents constipation and aids bowel movement. It is important to keep away from sugary cereals, white bread, pastries and syrups. These are simple sugars which will give you a short burst of energy and then cause a lull making you prone to mood swings. You will be hungry and tired in a couple of hours, and will want to reach for an unhealthy snack.

If you need to snack at around 11 AM, healthy options include a few nuts such as almonds and walnuts, or a fruit or a glass of skimmed milk.

Healthy Breakfast Options That Fit Into The Family Budget

Quick and easy breakfast need not be expensive. Children learn to eat a healthy breakfast if their parents also do the same everyday. It pays to rise early and make sure the family gets off to a great start every morning. It has been proved that breakfast eaters maintain healthy weight, are more energetic and alert through out the day, are less prone to diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Yes, breakfast eaters consume lesser calories throughout the day and are more healthy. Remember obesity is a silent killer. Gorging on junk food later in the day is definitely the fastest way to becoming obese.

  1. Whole grain cereal with low fat milk .Stir in some cut fruits such as strawberry,apple,banana. Some like to add raisins, walnuts and almonds,figs. Be creative each day. Fresh orange juice instead of the fruits gives you vitamin C. A boiled egg can be included.
  2. Hot cereal such as oatmeal can be microwaved and served. Nutritive value can be boosted by adding blueberries, strawberries, any cut fruit you enjoy or some nuts such as pecan,walnut and almonds.
  3. Sandwiches can be made from whole grain bread and lean meats,poultry,sprouts, or even leftover vegetables or meats from the dinner. A simple scrambled egg sandwich with a slice of cheese, some fried onion and mushrooms or peppers can be quite filling as well. Peanut butter sandwich can be a healthy alternative. Choose low fat dairy or yoghurt as a spread rather than mayonnaise.
  4. Fruit and yoghurt can always come in handy if you do not have time for breakfast. Having hardboiled eggs ready can add up the nutritive value of your breakfast. Always remember to include low fat dairy, whole grain cereal or bread, eggs, fresh fruit or 100 % fruit juice. Protein and fiber needs must be met at this important meal of the day.
  5. Fruit Smoothies are an excellent alternative to a sit down breakfast when in a hurry. Choose your favourite fruit, some low fat dairy, some honey or a sprinkling of sugar and whir up in your blender. Milk, water or juice can be added to some fresh or frozen fruit for a basic smoothie. Adding flax oil or flaxseeds and plain yoghurt or peanut butter enhance its nutritive value.
  6. Indian breakfasts are particularly nutritious as they combine all the food groups and are rich in protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Idlis , dosas, parathas are all eaten with accompaniments such as chutney, sambar, vegetable curries and are a balanced meal in themselves. Yes, I have been preparing and eating these on a regular basis and love to start my day with a healthy breakfast. And there is a great variety to choose from-puri sago, poori-channa, akki roti, ragi roti, roti sabzi, chapathi vegetable paliya, bisi bele bath,upma,vermicelli bath, lime rice,tamarind rice,egg rice,avalakki.

How To Make Idli-No.1 South Indian Breakfast


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