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The Power of Breakfast!

Cathy Family and Consumer Sciences &

Rogers, 4-H and Youth Development Agent

You know what they say about breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day. Have you ever wondered if that is really true, or wondered why it’s true? The fact is that after having not eaten (fasted) for 10 to 14 hours, your body is ready for a new source of energy. Eating breakfast gets your metabolism started for the day so that you burn all of your calories more effectively. It also gives you energy, helps your brain work better, and helps you to avoid binging on high

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    calorie foods like donuts, or vending

machine snacks later in the day.

oatmeal or a whole grain cereal, and a low-fat dairy product such as fat free (skim) or low- fat milk or low-fat yogurt. Avoid breakfast foods with lots of sugars, fats, and/or sodium. For example, whole eggs, bacon (except Canadian bacon), sausage, butter, cream cheese, and gravies.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes that eating breakfast helps young people perform at their best both physically and mentally. Studies show that students score higher on tests when they eat breakfast. Even during the summer it’s important to encourage children to eat breakfast regularly so that they form that habit. Then, when school begins, they will naturally continue it even if it means getting up a few minutes earlier.

Eating habits of adults who successfully maintain weight loss include eating breakfast almost every day. Breakfast is associated with a healthy body mass index (BMI). Skipping breakfast is associated with a higher intake of energy from fat and lower intake of carbohydrate, a pattern that can lead to excessive calorie intake and increased risk for obesity and related health problems.

Here are some breakfast tips:

  • Keep it simple. Figure out three breakfasts that work for you and keep the kitchen stocked with those foods.

  • Make time for breakfast by preparing what you can the night before or getting up 15 minutes earlier.

  • Not hungry first thing in the morning? Exercise in the morning or take breakfast with you to eat later.

  • Check out the calories and fat grams in restaurant and fast foods. Choose English muffins over biscuit sandwiches. Leave off the cheese.

It is best to include foods from at least three of the food categories of the MyPyramid. Usually these consist of a fruit or fruit juice, a whole grain product like

Please contact Cathy Rogers at the Suwannee County Extension Office at 386-362-2771 or cjrogers@ufl.edu.

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