Better Eat Your Wheaties

Your mom just may have been right when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Not only does breakfast improve concentration and performance at school/work, but a high-fiber breakfast can also help to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the amount of calories consumed throughout the day.  It has been found that those who eat breakfast on a regular basis are more successful at losing weight and maintaining weight loss than those who skip breakfast.  (People who skip breakfast tend to overcompensate for the calories later in the day, and often choose foods with less nutritional value than the foods they would have eaten at breakfast.)

When planning a healthy breakfast, it is ideal to include at least three food groups.  Breakfasts with high-fiber grains and some protein can have some real lasting power and keep you satisfied longer.  However, any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.  Below is a list of some breakfast ideas:

Meal Ideas Tips
Cereal(Hot or Cold)  Skim Milk                  Fruit
  • Look for “whole” grains as the first ingredient on the label
  • Try to include cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • Limit sugary cereals. If you like sugary cereals, try mixing them with a low-sugar/high-fiber cereal. It might be just sweet enough.
Fruit & Yogurt Parfait        (Yogurt, Fruit of choice, Crushed cereal)
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Remember that granola has a lot of calories…try sprinkling other types of crushed cereals for a lower calorie alternative
Cottage Cheese       Fruit                     English Muffin
  • Try to choose whole grain English Muffins and other bread products
Egg White Omelet  Whole Wheat Toast
  • Good omelet fillers: onion, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, or any other veggies, ham
  • Limit: sausage, bacon, cheese and other high fat meats
Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
  • Peanut Butter is very healthy, but it is also very high in calories. Portion control is important for weight management
Frozen Waffle             Fruit                                Skim Milk
  • Try choosing whole grain waffles
  • Top with light syrup for a reduced calorie option
Granola Bar       Smoothie                 Fruit
  • Choose granola bars that have > 3 gm fiber for serving
  • Kashi, Pria and South Beach are some brands that make bars which tend to be fairly high in fiber
  • Dannon makes an easy smoothie to take with you on the road

The chart above includes a few ideas, but don’t be afraid to get creative.  If you don’t like breakfast foods, then eat a sandwich or left-over food from last night’s dinner.  There is no rule that certain foods should be eaten at any specific time of the day.  Also, be sure to think about your schedule when planning for meals.  If time is limited have things available that you can grab and go.