Better Breakfast Day

September 26th is Better Breakfast Day! What’s that all about?
The answer to that question can be found in the results of research conducted on the benefits of eating breakfast. Studies based on the behaviors of all Americans – children, adolescents and adults – have shown these benefits can be categorized into three general areas: Nutrition, Health, and Performance. Let’s look at each of the areas separately starting first with “Nutrition”.
According to the Dietary Guidelines, we need a new supply of nutrients each day to keep our organs functioning and our bodies healthy. It would be difficult to get all the nutrients we need (like the required amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber) if we skipped breakfast. Research has shown that eating breakfast not only gives us a jump-start in meeting our nutrient requirements for the day, it also sets the stage for our making better food choices throughout the day. Now, just think about that a minute! Do you eat better throughout the day when you eat breakfast? Bet you do!
breakfast plate
In the area of “Health”, research has shown that eating breakfast can help control one’s weight. How is that possible? Well, as we mentioned before, people who eat breakfast are more likely to make better food choices during the day. For example, unlike breakfast skippers who often scarf down high calorie junk food when they get hungry mid-morning or at lunch, breakfast eaters aren’t as hungry and tend to choose more thoughtfully, taking into consideration the sugar, fat and calorie content of the food they choose to eat. Plus, breakfast eaters are typically more physically active than non-breakfast eaters. The marrying of these three behaviors – eating breakfast, making wise food choices during the day, and being physically active – are contributing factors to not only managing one’s weight, but to also controlling the onset of other health issues like heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It’s amazing that simply eating breakfast can have such long-range health benefits, isn’t it?
Lastly, eating breakfast provides benefits in the area of “Performance”. Researchers agree that breakfast consumption has a positive impact on cognitive and academic performance. For example, children who eat breakfast do better on standardized tests, are late or absent less often, and have less trouble concentrating than their breakfast skipping counterparts. As for adults, research has shown that skipping breakfast can also interfere with their ability to think and learn. Even a simple breakfast of corn flakes and milk can provide a new supply of glucose, that will in turn, heighten their creativity and make them more productive during the day.
Although breakfast is often pushed to the bottom of our priority list, it’s pretty easy to see why it truly is the most important meal of the day. For nutritional, health, and performance ability reasons, we all should eat a healthy breakfast every day.
So, don’t delay! To learn more, read “Now Serving Breakfast” and “The Importance of Eating a Healthy Breakfast” and start planning a Better Breakfast Day at your house tomorrow… and every day of the year!

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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