We've all heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Research shows that a nutritious breakfast can improve school performance and increase weight loss. And yet, in our rush to school or work, many of us let breakfast fall by the wayside. We eat a less-than-nutritious meal, or none at all.
Growing up, breakfast was my least favorite meal. And by the time I was a young teenager, I refused it outright. It wasn't until I got married that I started to treat breakfast right. I don't remember the transition, but having a solid breakfast was such a staple of my husband's life that it became one in mine, as well. And, eventually, my drive to find healthy, easy meals influenced my breakfast menu, too.
I don't do anything fancy. I just try to think outside the box – outside the cereal box, that is. I don't put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with something brilliant. Really, adding just one extra component to breakfast is likely to significantly increase its nutritional value and taste. Here are my guidelines for keeping breakfast interesting and healthy:
Mix and match: As this article indicates, it's a good idea to bring in as many nutrients into your breakfast as possible. Expanding the boundaries of a traditional breakfast can make it more interesting and more nutritious. If you normally have plain toast, top if off with a lean protein like peanut butter or low fat cheese. If you normally grab a yogurt, add some healthy granola and fruit.
Remember to look in the fridge: Nothing will put out one's interest in breakfast than sitting down to the same thing every morning. But breakfast doesn't have to be a separate shopping trip. Eggs, fruit, peanut butter, good bread and cheese … you've got all you need!
Spice it up: Eggs seeming bland? Add a little hot sauce, wrap it up in a tortilla and enjoy! Tired of oatmeal? A little banana or mango changes the complexion of oatmeal entirely. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you're off!
Make it fast: Remember that a good breakfast doesn't have to take a long time. Heating up some lower fat turkey sausage while the bread is in the toaster takes no extra time. Throwing frozen fruit and yogurt into the blender takes only a couple minutes and produces a very healthy smoothy that's easy to take on the road.
Need some help getting started? Try this article for some great recipes that will make you love breakfast again.