Discover why Breakfast is More Than a Meal and its vital role in starting your day right. Explore nutritious breakfast ideas and health benefits in this insightful guide.
Because mornings are often hectic, some families try to get by with skimpy breakfasts or skip the meal entirely. You and your children, though, have already gone without food for 8 to 9 hours. Without a good breakfast, your bodies and your brains – which have no blood-glucose reserves, the brain’s main energy source – have even longer to wait for an energy boost. It’s much better to get up a little earlier to have a complete breakfast.
Is a nutritious breakfast part of your morning routine?
In the rush of busy mornings, some families opt for quick or even skip breakfast altogether. However, it’s important to consider that you and your children have gone without nourishment for 8 to 9 hours during sleep. Without a wholesome breakfast, your bodies and brains, which rely on blood glucose as their primary energy source, have to wait even longer for a vital energy boost. It’s worthwhile to set your alarm a bit earlier to ensure you enjoy a complete breakfast.
Research spanning the past three decades consistently shows that children who consume a well-balanced breakfast perform notably better in tests and experience lower levels of depression, anxiety, and hyperactivity compared to those who have an imbalanced breakfast or none at all.
Moreover, breakfast enthusiasts tend to exhibit enhanced stamina and are less susceptible to mid-morning hunger pangs. A satisfying breakfast can help curb overeating by keeping you feeling full for longer. In studies involving adults, it was found that overweight women consumed fewer calories throughout the day when they had a protein-rich breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, and fruit spread compared to those who had an equivalent calorie breakfast comprising a bagel, cream cheese, and yogurt.
Whether for adults or children, a nutritious breakfast should encompass a grain-based component, a source of protein, a low-fat dairy product, and the option of a fruit, vegetable, or juice.
For a protein source, nutritious eggs are a convenient choice and can be easily paired with other ingredients to create a well-rounded meal. Consider trying the “Pile-It-On Egg Toast” recipe below, which offers both comforting and exciting flavor combinations to awaken your taste buds.
Pile-It-On Egg Toast
Yields 3 servings
- Cooking spray
- 3 slices of bread
- 3 eggs
- Topping ingredients (see variations)
- Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and evenly coat it with cooking spray.
- Place the bread slices on the foil-lined sheet. You can either use a round cookie or biscuit cutter with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch diameter to cut out the center of each bread slice or simply pull out the center with your fingers, leaving a hole of the same diameter. If desired, lightly coat both sides of the bread with cooking spray for extra crispness.
- Crack and gently place one egg into the hole in each bread slice.
- Evenly spread or spoon the topping ingredients over the bread slice and egg white, ensuring not to completely cover the egg yolk.
- Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks begin to thicken and cloud over but remain soft, which should take approximately 12 to 15 minutes. (Baking time may vary depending on oven temperature, topping ingredients, and the exact diameter of the hole in the bread slice.)
Nutrition Information (per serving using pumpernickel rye bread, ham, spinach, and 2% cottage cheese):
- Calories: 200
- Total Fat: 8g
- Cholesterol: 228mg
- Sodium: 743mg
- Potassium: 229mg
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Protein: 17g
- Provides 10% or more of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamins A, B12, and C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
Topping Variations (each makes 3 servings):
Ham & Cheese:
- Use pumpernickel rye bread.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 oz.), 1/2 cup of chopped lean cooked ham (about 3 oz.), and 1/3 cup of low-fat cottage cheese.
- Spoon approximately 1/3 cup of the spinach mixture evenly onto each egg-and-bread slice and then bake.
- Use Italian bread with a diameter of at least 4 inches, sliced 3/4- to 1-inch thick.
- In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (about 3 1/2 oz.) with 1/2 cup of prepared pizza or spaghetti sauce or salsa.
- Spoon about 1/3 cup of the mushroom mixture onto each egg-and-bread slice, sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of shredded low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 tablespoon per slice), and then bake.