Start the Day Off Right: Why You Should NOT Skip Breakfast!
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how many of us actually eat a good (or any) breakfast, every day? I’m a breakfast-skipper by nature, ever since adolescence, actually. I just can’t eat right away, when I first wake up. Come to think of it, I may be a breakfast skipper for cultural reasons, too. I’m Italian and, quite frankly, adults in Italy usually grab a quick espresso or cappuccino at the local bar (a café, not an American-style bar) and only very occasionally will eat something with it. If they do eat, which is rare, it’s usually a beignet (a cream-filled donut) or a biscotto (a dry cookie). Although I was raised mainly in the U.S., that was my breakfast as a child, too: a cup of boiled milk with either chocolate Nesquick or sugar-sweetened orzo (a drink made with powdered barley, milk and sugar) and one of those figure-8 cookies (Stella d'Oro Breakfast Treats, anyone?) or bread with butter and jam. However, it has become pretty clear that breakfast-skippers are doing themselves (and their families) a huge disservice; breaking the fast before launching into the day’s activities has many benefits, especially for kids, but also for grown-ups.
Fueling our bodies first thing in the morning sets us up for a great day. Eating a good breakfast increases your attention span and keeps you from feeling tired and/or irritable by mid-morning. And, did you know that skipping breakfast does NOT help you lose weight? Skipping breakfast is the quickest way to ensure that your body will think it may starve and, therefore, it will slow down its metabolism of food and store more fat, just in case. It seems counter-intuitive, but in order to lose weight efficiently and effectively, you should eat a good breakfast. And children who eat a good breakfast every day concentrate and problem-solve better, in the classroom and on the playground.
So, what’s a good breakfast? According to one source, “a good breakfast is one that provides at least one third of the day’s calories.” It goes without saying that a good breakfast should also be a healthy one (in other words, skip the doughnuts, not the breakfast).
© 2012 Everymom/Language Development Company