Breakfast: Why is it so Important?
Breakfast is very important as it helps with brain function, attention span, concentration and memory according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One major reason people don’t eat breakfast is time. Most of us are going to work, getting kids to school or rushing to an early exercise class. So how can we get the benefits of breakfast with minimal time? One way most people find success is with planning ahead.
Breakfast Meal Prep:
- Batch-make whole grain waffles or pancakes. I make 50-60 at a time and freeze them. When breakfast comes, just toast, add toppings and enjoy.
- Prepare egg scrambles with veggies and portion them for the week.
- Wrap egg scrambles in a tortilla for an on-the-go version.
- Blend smoothies on Sunday, pour into cups and freeze for the week.
Leave Breakfast at Work:
- Keep instant oatmeal packets ready and waiting at your desk.
- Buy an extra box of protein bars to keep when you are in a pinch.
- Keep a loaf of whole grain bread in the freezer and peanut butter in your desk. When in doubt, peanut butter toast is always available.
- For those times when you have an early meeting, your work stash is depleted or your kids spilled their smoothies…you must know how to, healthfully order on the go.
At the Coffee Shop:
- Choose a multigrain breakfast burrito instead of that super sized pastry. The protein will keep you fuller for longer.
- Don’t drink your calories: choose skinny lattes, coffee or iced tea for your caffeine fix.
When your Meeting Provides Breakfast:
- Scan the breakfast buffet and be sure to get healthy carbohydrates and protein.
- For carbohydrates focus on whole grains, oatmeal and fruit.
- Increase protein by adding eggs, nut butters, milk or Greek yogurt.
Breakfast is such an important meal. Plan ahead to get all the brain boost benefits it has to offer.
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.