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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Nutrition - Meals & Snacks - Breakfast

Break the Fast!

Do you skip breakfast?  Do you find that you don’t have time to eat in the morning?  No appetite right after you get up?  Too tired to eat?  Although some people do not eat breakfast for these reasons, there are many good reasons to include breakfast everyday.

Breakfast literally means, “break the fast”.  After several hours of sleeping, without a meal or snack, your body is in a fasted state.  It has used up nearly all of its energy, called glucose (pronounced “gloo-kose”).  Glucose is an important source of energy for brain function and muscle activity.   After waking, food is needed to refresh this energy supply.  Breakfast kicks your body into high gear, providing fuel for your mind and your muscles, and all the activities of your day. 

Research shows that people who skip breakfast often feel tired, irritable or restless throughout the morning.  People who eat breakfast often have better attitudes toward work and school and higher productivity in the late morning.  People who eat breakfast also have more strength and endurance, better concentration and problem-solving ability, and are more likely to have a healthy body.  Research with children and teens indicates that those who regularly eat a morning meal tend to perform better in school and often score higher on tests.  All of these benefits are seen even when only a small amount of food is eaten in the morning.

Research also shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to get all the nutrients they need in the day.  Breakfast can be an important source of calcium, vitamin C, iron, folic acid and fibre.  People who skip breakfast may never make up for these nutrients later in the day.

Breakfast can be quick, satisfying and delicious.  For a nutritious breakfast in 10 minutes or less, try these suggestions:

  • slice of whole grain bread, spread with peanut butter, wrapped around a banana

  • low fat yogurt with cereal and berries sprinkled on top

  • high-fibre cereal (at least 3 grams of fibre per serving) with fruit, milk and nuts on top

  • an egg and cheese on a whole wheat bagel

  • toasted whole wheat English muffin with ham and cheese

  • cottage cheese and fruit with a low-fat, high-fibre muffin



Leftovers work too - any food can be a breakfast food.  Re-heated chilli, pizza, or meat and vegetables from the night before can satisfy morning hunger.  Be prepared for those mornings when you miss breakfast by keeping granola bars, dry cereal, high-fibre crackers and peanut butter in your car or at work so you can munch when you get hungry.  If you end up hitting the drive-through on your way to work, make healthier choices like a low fat, high-fibre muffin, or a multi grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese, or whole grain toast with peanut butter.

And remember, your children are watching you.  There is research that shows children of parents who eat breakfast follow their example.  So, be a good role model for your children and include breakfast everyday.



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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
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