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Get a Boost by Eating Breakfast

Learn how skipping breakfast regularly may cause you to miss out on some big health benefits.

mother, daughter and granddaughter sitting at breakfast

Ever headed out the door without eating a good breakfast? Or realized that lunch is regularly your first meal of the day? It may not seem like a big deal to skip breakfast, but studies show that eating this important meal may benefit you in more ways than one.

Benefits of breakfast

Eating a breakfast full of nutrients is a great way to jump-start your day — and it can help provide the boost you need for good overall health. A balanced breakfast may help you in these ways, too:

  • Contribute to weight loss and improved nutrition
  • Reduce absenteeism and improved learning and mood in children and teens
  • Reduce obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Be more productive and energetic through the day
  • Prevent overeating later in the day

Start your day right

Here are some options for choosing a nutritious breakfast:

  • Lean protein. An egg is one option. Other choices include a slice of lean meat, low-fat cheese and yogurt. Or, try peanut butter on toast.
  • Whole grains. Experts advise eating half of our grains from whole grains. For many people, this is easy at breakfast because of choices like oatmeal. Or you can try whole-grain breads or pancakes. Studies show that whole grains are nutritious and may help reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  • Low-fat dairy. Include low-fat or fat-free dairy, or other fortified dairy-like beverages such as soy milk.
  • Fruit and vegetables. Generally, without having added sugar, fruit and vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories. Yet, most Americans do not eat their recommended allowance. Breakfast is a good place to start. Choices might include bananas, oranges, mangoes, apples or berries. Another option is chopping up some onions, tomatoes or other vegetables for your omelet or scrambled eggs.

No excuses for good health

Don’t feel like there’s time to fix a good breakfast? These tips may help.

  • Organize the night before. Set up your place setting, so it’s all ready to go when you wake up. Get a head start by taking out your toaster, blender or any pans you need to prepare your balanced breakfast.
  • Wake up 10 minutes earlier. That’s plenty of time to eat a bowl of whole-grain cereal or make a quick health shake.
  • Keep it simple. A slice of whole grain toast with peanut or almond butter and a banana is all you need to get started.
  • Breakfast on the move. Good to-go items include whole-grain crackers, unsalted nuts, fruit or a peanut butter sandwich.

Enjoy your new breakfast routine — your health will thank you for it!

By John Welsh, Contributing Writer

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Accessed: September 28, 2017.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Childhood nutrition facts. Accessed: September 28, 2017.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It's about eating right: Four tips for better breakfasts. Accessed: September 28, 2017.

Updated October 13, 2017