September is National Better Breakfast Month, and with the start of the school year, it’s the perfect time to set your family up for healthy eating habits. It’s hard enough getting your kids to wake up on time, and it can be even more difficult to get them to eat a hearty breakfast that will give them the energy they need to make it through school, sports and other activities. Here’s why taking part in Better Breakfast Month is a good idea, as well as a few ways you can stick to the habit.
The benefits of breakfast
Breakfast is often one of the most undervalued meals, especially these days when people are always on the go. Busy workers and students are more likely to grab a cup of coffee and a granola bar than a bowl of oatmeal or an omelet. But breakfast really is the most important meal of the day for several reasons:
- Helps with weight control: Eating breakfast can help people maintain a healthy weight because it can reduce hunger throughout the day and prompt people to make healthy eating choices for snacks and other meals. It’s also a good way to kick your metabolism into gear and burn more calories throughout the day.
- Offers vitamins and nutrients: Breakfast helps ensure that you get a nutritionally complete diet with all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. People who skip breakfast aren’t likely to make up these missing nutrients.
- Helps maintain focus and performance: Studies have shown that eating breakfast helps people stay focused and perform better throughout the day, which is great news for your kids.
Building healthy habits
There are plenty of reasons why some people don't bother to get serious about breakfast. They could be too rushed to get out of the house in the morning or maybe they just don't feel hungry. That's why taking baby steps is a good idea if you often struggle to eat a healthy breakfast. Start out by vowing not to skip breakfast, no matter what. Even if you just eat a banana or a cup of yogurt, that's better than nothing.
Once you've gotten used to eating something after waking up, make an effort to prepare healthy, balanced choices. Get a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats into every morning meal. Even if you and the kids have to wake up 10 minutes earlier, try sitting down for a quick bite. Some meal preparation can even be done the night before, like making overnight oats or soaking chia seeds for a healthy pudding.