Over time, streamlining breakfast preparation in our fast-paced lives has led to a decline in the quality of breakfast choices, often featuring high amounts of sugary, grain-based carbohydrates, or skipping breakfast altogether.
Better Breakfast Day, celebrated annually on Sept. 26, highlights the significance of starting your day with a wholesome and nutritious breakfast. This observance underscores the age-old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and aims to inspire consumers to make healthier choices in their morning meals. While any breakfast is better than none, the quality of what we consume also matters.
To celebrate Better Breakfast Day, health and wellness professionals can share simple strategies to incorporate breakfast into their morning routines and encourage consumers to assess and add nutrition to their choices.
Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?
According to an NIH study titled, Breakfast in Human Nutrition: The International Breakfast Research Initiative, the literature remains inconclusive as to the precise health benefits of breakfast. It has, however, been implicated in weight control, cardio-metabolic risk factors and cognitive performance. Studies have shown that people who eat a healthy breakfast are better able to focus throughout the day, are less likely to be absent and have more energy throughout the day as well.
For students, breakfast is especially important as it can enhance memory, improve test scores and decrease behavior problems. Breakfast also provides key micronutrients students need every day.
What makes a “good” breakfast?
Finding time to eat breakfast before school or leaving for the workday can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and it doesn’t need to require a large amount of prep. If you have leftovers, reheat and head out the door (who says breakfast foods can’t be leftovers from dinner last night?). You may also keep a list of breakfast ideas on the fridge that the family can grab-and-go.
Set a goal to include at least three food groups. If you like cold cereal, add milk and fresh or dried fruit. Add fruit and nuts to yogurt for an easy parfait. Toast a waffle or grab a whole grain tortilla; add peanut butter and wrap it around a banana. If you have time to make eggs, make an egg sandwich and add a bit of cheese. And you can always make overnight oats if you’re a “night-before” planner.
There are many great options on grocery shelves too. From refrigerated bars and heat-and-eat egg bites to shelf-stable meal replacements. As health and wellness professionals, highlighting some of your favorites — and explaining why they’re your favorites — can be helpful to consumers.
Maybe you’re not a breakfast person. You can try non-breakfast foods to start your day, or you may simply opt for a mid-morning snack instead of eating right away.
Share your breakfast
In the age of social media, sharing your breakfast creations online as a health and wellness professional can be another way to participate in Better Breakfast Day. The hashtag for the holiday is #BetterBreakfastDay. This can foster a sense of community and inspire people to make nutritious breakfast choices together. Just remember, if you’re sharing a product recommendation or review that you’ve been paid to promote, be sure to disclose that it’s a paid promotion or endorsement.