Christine Patrick, Senior County EFNEP Agent
Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it is the most often missed. Skipping breakfast causes irritability, sluggishness, slow thinking, and inefficiency by midmorning. For quick energy, you may crave snacks like candy or a cookie. Usually, the nutrients missed by skipping breakfast aren’t “made up” at other meals and will be left out completely that day.
If you skip breakfast, what’s your excuse? Common reasons are “not hungry,” “on a diet,” “nothing to eat,” and “lack of time.” Not feeling hungry when you wake up could be due to stress hormones affecting your hunger cues.
When lack of time is your excuse, consider that it takes less time to eat breakfast than it does to shave, shower, and blow-dry your hair. Most people eat breakfast in less than five minutes, so a nutritious breakfast doesn’t have to be time consuming.
Breakfast does not need to be limited to traditional breakfast foods. You can start your day with some low-fat milk, a glass of juice, and one of the nutritious foods:
- Leftovers from last night’s supper. (e.g. a slice of pizza, burrito, taco, hamburger, or cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese, a stuffed baked potato or soup)
- Your favorite sandwich (e.g. grilled cheese, peanut butter, and jelly, turkey, or chicken)
- Pancakes with one or more of these added: chopped fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, apples, nuts, or cubes of cooked meat, such as ham
- Quick-cooking oats with added dried or fresh fruit, nuts, and brown sugar
- Grits in which low-fat cheese or soft margarine (not butter) has been melted
- French toast with cinnamon or nutmeg added to the batter
- Low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt combined with dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon
- Leftover rice, low-fat yogurt, dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon combined together
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