Whats for Breakfast? EN Gets You Off to a Healthful Start

Breakfast has long been identified as important for children. But what about adults? Lately, researchers have been paying more attention to the value of a good breakfast in an adult’s busy day and have found it is, indeed, as valuable to adults as it is to children.

Findings from the Bogalusa (Louisiana) Heart Study and from the University of Wales-Swansea in the United Kingdom (where researchers compared three studies of adults and breakfast) underscored the benefits of starting the day with more than just a jolt of java:

Eggs on the Run

Scramble one or two eggs (or substitute) with chopped veggies (onions, peppers, mushrooms).  Top with a bit of shredded cheese until just melted.  Stuff into a whole grain pita or tortilla.  Top with salsa.

Benefits of Breakfast

  • People who eat breakfast typically have more nutrient-dense diets, specifically more calcium, iron, folic acid (folate) and vitamins A, B6, C and D, than those who don’t eat in the A.M.
  • People who eat ready-to-eat cereals get more vitamins and minerals, plus fewer calories and less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • People who eat breakfast improve their memories and the ability to perform tasks that require memory.

Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, because it “breaks” a night-long “fast.” But it’s best to make your A.M. meal count. Of those people who actually eat a morning meal, many choose foods high in fat and sodium?quite possibly the result of a drive-thru encounter or a commercial pastry come-on or even an old-fashioned sit-down overindulgence.

For alternatives, EN has compiled some healthful breakfast ideas that even the busiest person can fit into a hectic day. Give them a try and see what a difference the morning meal makes!

Traditional Fare

You just can’t beat that old standby, cereal, for a healthful start. Oatmeal is great, of course, but not really summer fare. The best ready-to-eat cereals have at least five grams of fiber and limit sugar to no more than eight grams per serving.

EN‘s Favorites

  • Kellogg’s All-Bran
  • Kellogg’s Bran Buds
  • Post Shredded Wheat ?n Bran
  • Post Raisin Bran
  • Quaker/Post Shredded Wheat and Spoon-Size Shredded Wheat
  • Quaker Oat Bran
  • General Mills Wheat Chex
  • Kellogg’s Complete Wheat Bran Flakes
  • Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran
  • Post Grape-Nuts

Whole-grain breads (bagels, English muffins) are more great choices to start the day. Instead of topping with butter, cream cheese or jam, try peanut butter, a slice of cheese or even hummus.

Fruit Smoothie

1 cup peaches (fresh, frozen or canned)
? cup buttermilk or regular low-fat milk
? cup strawberries (or other berries)
? tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender.
Blend until smooth.
Makes one 16-ounce serving.

Off the Beaten Path

Don’t feel obliged to stick with traditional breakfast options. Try these:

  • Peanutty Snack Spread ? Combine 2 tablespoons peanut butter with 1 tablespoon wheat germ. Spread on apple or pear slices, bananas, oat bran bagels or whole-wheat toast.
  • Fruity Crunch? Sprinkle wheat germ over cut-up fruit; top with low-fat cottage cheese.
  • Yogurt Plus ? Stir granola or wheat germ and diced dried fruit mix into low-fat vanilla yogurt.
  • Waffles Galore ? Toast a whole-grain waffle and top with peanut butter or applesauce. Or spread with fat-free ricotta cheese and sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.
  • Leftover Rice ? Warm leftover rice in the microwave and add:
  • Toasted sesame seeds, carrots, green onions and raisins.
  • Garlic, onions and toasted walnuts.
  • Black beans, minced red onion and bell pepper, cilantro and vinaigrette.
  • Sliced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, chopped nuts and vanilla yogurt.
  • Wraps ? Making a wrap doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Buy pre-cut vegetables or use canned or frozen fruits. Make your wrap in the morning or the evening before. Try these ideas:
  • Roll low-fat cream cheese and your favorite fruit (apples, peaches, strawberries) into a whole-grain tortilla.
  • Pile lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes and grated cheese into a pita or spinach tortilla. Top with salad dressing or plain yogurt flavored with taco seasoning or garlic powder.

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