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Build a Better Breakfast

by Lindsey Sexton - September 11, 2020

I don’t have time for breakfast

Skipping breakfast is common. Some folks feel like they don’t have time for breakfast or they simply aren’t hungry during breakfast time. However, when mid-morning hits so do the hunger pangs. Here are five ways to build breakfast into your morning routine:

  • Set out whole-grain cereal, bowls, spoons, and glasses the night before.
  • If you want a hot breakfast, make a breakfast casserole the evening before and refrigerate. Pop it in the oven in the morning while you get ready for the day.
  • Any time you're in a baking mood, make a batch of whole-grain muffins and freeze them. They can be warmed in the microwave from frozen.
  • If you are looking to grab and go, group your pre-portioned breakfast items together in the fridge the night before. Example: cheese stick, whole-grain crackers, apple.


Do I really need to eat breakfast?

With intermittent fasting and other restrictive diets on the rise, some people are choosing to skip breakfast all together. However, it could cost them in the long run. Here are 5 mental and physical benefits to eating breakfast.1

  • Improved blood sugar regulation. In several studies, breakfast-eaters were more likely than breakfast-skippers to have stable blood sugar levels after other meals that followed. Eating within two hours of waking up seems to improve insulin sensitivity for the rest of the day. Insulin is the hormone your body produces to move blood sugar (glucose) into your cells; if the glucose stays in your bloodstream, you are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Protection against heart disease. Research shows that those who do not eat breakfast are more likely to gain weight and have high blood pressure and cholesterol. The reason may be partly due to overeating later, which leads to the next benefit of breakfast.

  • Less overeating. People who eat breakfast are more likely to feel satisfied and less likely to overeat in the late morning or at lunchtime. Those who skip breakfast are likely to experience a larger increase in ghrelin, a hunger hormone that promotes overeating.

  • Better nutrition. Surveys show that breakfast-eaters take in more fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grains, not just in the morning but throughout the day.

  • Enhanced brain power. In both children and adults, eating breakfast enhances attention, memory and creativity while boosting reasoning, learning and verbal skills. It also improves grades and attendance for students, as well as decreasing behavior issues.

These benefits come from not only eating breakfast and waking up your mind and body, but by eating the right kind of foods for breakfast.


What should I eat for breakfast?

Breakfast foods provide needed vitamins and nutrients in one small meal. Eating a balanced breakfast can mean the difference in getting all of your needed vitamins and nutrients for the day. Aim to eat something simple from 2 or 3 food groups each meal.

Whole grains provide long term energy and fiber for your day. Look for cereal with 5 grams of fiber, then add milk, and top it off with fruit and you have a healthy breakfast.

Protein and dairy foods such as nuts, meat, beans, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt or milk help you feel full longer. A cup of yogurt with fruit, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast, may be just enough.

Fruits and vegetables add important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to your diet and bring color to your meal. Whole-wheat pancakes and a glass of milk may not appeal to you but put some fresh or thawed strawberries on those pancakes and you have a treat!

Think outside the breakfast box. If you don’t care for cold cereal, eggs and toast, or waffles and coffee, have a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread or heat up some leftovers from last night’s sensible dinner.

When it comes to breakfast, skip dessert. While the donuts, sugary drinks and sweet cereal bars may be easy to grab, their quick energy jolt will soon lead to a crash, counteracting the benefits of eating breakfast in the first place.

Whether you and your loved ones are starting a new school year or continuing with a busy work schedule, you can benefit each day from breaking your long overnight fast.


Fruity Pancakes

Serves 4

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 egg, large

  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar (1 Tablespoon, packed)

  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, 1%

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 cup fresh or thawed fruit of your choice
  1. Preheat griddle. In medium bowl, stir or sift dry ingredients together.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, brown sugar and oil together. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened; batter should be slightly lumpy.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto sprayed or seasoned hot griddle.
  4. Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on surface; turning only once.
  5. Top pancakes with 1/4 cup fruit and serve immediately.

Calories 250
Fat 6g
Protein 10g
Carbohydrate 42g
Fiber 6g
Sodium 510mg 


Article Source: Colorado State University Extension, Nutrition News – Break the fast with breakfast,