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The Effect of Breakfast on the Body

by Lisbeth Booth, studioD

It's no secret that breakfast is an important meal, but in the midst of a busy family life it can also be the most tempting to skip. While skipping breakfast may sometimes seem like a good idea, it can greatly affect a person's mental focus and physical well-being. Your whole family will benefit from eating a healthy breakfast every day, and the positive effects on your body can make you happier and healthier.

Physical Effects of a Healthy Breakfast

Some people fear that a traditional carbohydrate-based breakfast can lead to unwanted weight gain, but eating breakfast can curb the urge to eat unhealthy snacks throughout the day and decrease a person's chance of being overweight. Include foods like orange juice and whole-wheat toast at breakfast time, and your family will get a head start on their daily intake of vitamin C and fiber, which will contribute to their overall well-being and nutrition levels. Breakfast also helps keep your blood sugar levels consistent, which will in turn keep you from becoming sluggish during the day.

Breakfast and Cognitive Performance

Your brain is an important part of your body and breakfast also plays an important part in a person's cognitive well-being. Eating a healthy breakfast full of high-fiber cereals, low-fat proteins, and fruit and vegetables rather than sugary cereals or doughnuts helps people to concentrate on their daily tasks. Eating a sufficient meal in the morning can also improve your mood throughout the day, making you less likely to get cranky or irritable. Children who have a full stomach in the morning are more likely to pay attention in school and focus on their work. This often results in higher grades and a better chance of academic success.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

The key to a successful breakfast is balance. Try to serve your family a balance of grains, fruits or vegetables, protein, and dairy. This can be a challenge on busy weekday mornings, but if you put together plates of toast, hard-boiled eggs, and fruit along with glasses of milk, you will hit all four food groups. Other healthy breakfast ideas include whole grain-waffles, low-sugar cereals with milk, bagels with cream cheese, yogurt and granola parfaits, and fruit smoothies. Serve these foods in combination to create a balanced meal.

Encouraging Your Family to Eat Breakfast

Even if you know that it's best for your family to eat breakfast, they may not be agreeable to the idea. If possible, try to eat breakfast as a family in the morning so that it feels like a social event. If your children's school offers a breakfast program, participate so that they can eat breakfast with their friends. Failing that, explain the importance of eating breakfast and provide them with healthy foods that they like. If your child doesn't like eggs, for example, don't serve eggs, or try them in a breakfast sandwich or roll-up. Breakfast foods are varied enough that you'll be able to find something that suits everyone's taste and nutritional requirements.

About the Author

As a professional journalist since 1998, Lisbeth Booth has worked as a writer and an editor at several magazines. Her career has focused on music and film criticism but she has also written about lifestyle topics such as parenting and home design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary.

Photo Credits

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