Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Unfortunately, the answer is not black and white, nor, so simple to solve. To explain further, let’s go back in time and look at where the phrase came from. In 1917, Lenna F. Cooper wrote an article in Good Health, a magazine published by the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. Cooper was a dietitian who was a co-founder of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), taught nearly 500 dietitians, and was a pioneer in the field of vegetarian nutrition.


After some research and looking into journal articles and clinical trials, most of the studies that have been completed have their limitations. From the lack of quality to inconsistent research, it is difficult to say for sure whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What can be said is how eating breakfast or well, skipping breakfast, makes you feel. Do you ever feel tired or extra hungry throughout the day if you skip breakfast? It is important to make sure your breakfast is an adequately balanced meal with nutrients that will be used throughout the day. The next time you think about skipping breakfast, remember how much energy you will need/use throughout the day.


It you are someone that skips breakfast, let’s look at some things we can do to make eating breakfast simpler.


“I’m not hungry in the mornings.”

Avoid late night mindless snacking or try making breakfast part of your morning routine.

“I don’t know what to even make.”

Meal planning is great way to avoid having to decide what to make in the morning. Plus, it is a time saver! There are more ideas at the bottom of this post.

“I don’t have time in the mornings.”

Getting up just ten minutes earlier provides enough time to be able to eat something small and even pack a mid-morning snack.

How does this relate to the age-old statement “breakfast is most important meal of the day?” Starting the day with a good, balanced, nutrient dense breakfast can boost your mood and keep you fueled. Getting rid of those excuses is a way to start forming better lifestyle choices.


Some examples of great options for a nutrient dense breakfast include eggs, oats, yogurt, Greek yogurt, fruits, whole grain breads, and vegetables. Yes, I said vegetables for breakfast. Below is a recipe for a fun breakfast idea. This could be made ahead of time so all you have to do is heat it up or it could be frozen and reheated. Don’t be scared by the name – it’s simply eggs and veggies. Enjoy!



Custom Veggie Frittata

Ingredients:

6-8 large eggs, use more for a 12in skillet.

¼ cup milk (any kind)

2 minced garlic cloves

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 cups of your favorite vegetables. Here are some ideas:

Broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, onions, peas, asparagus, mushrooms, or cherry tomatoes

And for extra flavor feel free to add:

Feta cheese, basil, tarragon, shallots, mini mozzarella balls, or smoke paprika


Instructions:

Preheat oven 400 F degrees.

Whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, and salt. Set aside.

Cook the veggies that you choose.

Place veggies into oven safe skillet and then pour egg mixture in the pan and evenly distribute.

Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set.



References:


Deedwania, P., & Acharya, T. Hearty Breakfast for Healthier Arteries. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2017. 70(15), 1843–1845.


Deshmukh-Taskar, P. R., Nicklas, T. A., O'Neil, C. E., Keast, D. R., Radcliffe, J. D., & Cho, S. The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumption with nutrient intake and weight status in children and adolescents: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2006. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010; 110(6), 869–878.


Victoria State Government. Healthy Living: Breakfast. Better Health Channel. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/breakfast Published December 03, 2020. Accessed April 19, 2021.


Westerdahl, John. Academy Co-Founder Lenna Frances Cooper: A Pioneer in Vegetarian Nutrition and Dietetics. Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Available at: https://www.vndpg.org/vn/about/academy-co-founder-lenna-frances-cooper-a-pioneer-in-vegetarian-nutrition-and-dietetics Published: 2017. Accessed April 19, 2021.


Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash


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