Ames, IA --- Breakfast doesn’t have to be an egg over-easy with a side of bacon and toast. A breakfast of string cheese and an apple takes less than a minute to prepare and can be eaten on the go. Peanut butter on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with a glass of milk takes a few seconds longer to prepare, but still provides necessary nutrients to get a body off to a good start. Both of these menus are good breakfast choices, according to Peggy Martin, Iowa State University Extension nutrition programs coordinator.
Martin says it’s important to start the day with a source of protein. Dairy products are fabulous choices for protein, and for getting the first of three daily servings of dairy. She suggests adding fiber to the morning menu, which is anything that comes from plants – fruits, vegetables, or whole grain.
To make breakfast a morning priority, Martin suggests thinking about the time you can give to breakfast – is it zero to two minutes, five or 10 minutes? “In 10 minutes you can fix and eat a bowl of whole grain cereal, with a cup of milk and some fruit,” said Martin. “That would provide great fuel for your body from three food groups, which is an excellent way to start the day.”
Not hungry before you leave the house – but starving as soon as you hit your office? Martin suggests a breakfast bar and a banana, or trail mix and string cheese. “Breakfast is so important that if eating it on the go is your only option, then do it that way,” said Martin.
Most people know that it’s important to “break” their overnight “fast” with a morning meal. In fact, 92 percent say that eating breakfast is important – but only 46 percent take time or make time to have breakfast, according to a recent study. Martin says that numerous studies document the need to eat breakfast for adults as well as children. In fact, recent studies show that lack of breakfast thwarts weight loss attempts because we tend to eat more later.
“A piece of last night’s pizza, which generally will consist of the desired three food groups, is preferable to nothing,” said Martin. “Having some quick nutritious options on hand and taking time to eat them is very important to good health. The important thing to remember - eat something, anything, for breakfast.”