Most everyone has heard at some time or another that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. With hectic work and school schedules, many of us do not heed this advice and skip this important meal.
The meal itself is one thing; what it contains is another. A good breakfast is not sugar loaded doughnuts or Pop-Tarts. While I don’t always eat as healthy as I should, I still read food labels and try to make healthy food choices as often as possible.
You want to opt for high fiber, high protein, low fat, and low sugar foods.
If I am in a really big hurry, Instant Breakfast will suffice. I buy the generic brand of instant breakfast. It generally comes in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or variety packs.
Mixed with 8 oz of milk, it is 220 calories, only 5 from fat (using skim milk). It contains no fiber, but you can easily supplement it using a product like Benefiber. This meal packs 5g of protein. It also contains 45% Vitamin A; 50% Vitamin C; 50% Calcium; 25% iron; 25% vitamins D, E, K, and thiamin; and 30% riboflavin.
High fiber cereal with skim milk is quick and easy. I serve it up alongside a small bowl of fresh fruit and a glass of V8 V-fusion. We enjoy the Kashi cereals such as Toasted Berry Crumble, Oak Flakes and Wild Blueberry Clusters, Strawberry Fields, and Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets.
V8 V-fusion is an excellent product offering up a full serving of fruits and vegetables in each 8 oz glass. It tastes great and comes in a variety of flavors. It is 100% juice with no added sugar, no corn syrup, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. An 8 oz serving contains only 120 calories and packs plenty of nutritional value.
Another quick breakfast is a container of low fat yogurt topped with fresh berries and sprinkled with wheat germ. Kretschmer makes a honey crunch variety of wheat germ that tastes really great. It is good not only on yogurt, but can also be added to baking recipes and used as a coating for poultry or fish.
Fresh fruit is my preference, but it is not always readily available. If not, canned fruits can be served up with low fat cottage cheese. Dole Tropical Fruit Salad is a common breakfast menu item at our house. So is canned grapefruit, bartlett pear halves, and fruit cocktail. I always try to buy fruit packed in juice rather than syrup if I can.
Oatmeal is always a great breakfast choice, and it is now easier than ever to make in a variety of delicious flavors in quick fix microwave packets. I still make the old fashioned kind of oatmeal because my family prefers it. I dress it up with a bit of honey crunch wheat germ, some raw natural sugar, and sometimes a bit of brown sugar and a dab of butter.
Contrary to what many people think, eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Remember, too, that when you do take the time to invest in healthy and nutritious foods, you are also investing in your own health and well-being, which means less chance of disease, illness, and the need for expensive medical care.
Don’t skip the most important meal of the day. Check food labels, know what is in what you eat. Many products claim to be healthy when in reality they are not. If you have young children, it is never too early to start teaching them good eating habits that will remain with them when they are older. Remember, we are what we eat.