On the Breakfast Soap Box
Bear with me as I climb up on my soap box. Each morning while getting ready for work, I listen to a local radio station for news and music. A contest is currently taking place where listeners can call in to give an answer to a question and win a prize. The radio announcer always greets the person calling in and asks if they have eaten breakfast. I have yet to hear one person say, “Yes!” Most comment that they don’t have time or simply don’t eat breakfast. Others say they will pick something up on the way to work.
This is a troubling trend, especially to someone who teaches nutrition, health and wellness! Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day because it breaks the fast – thus the word ‘breakfast.’
When I lead 4-H youth in the Foods & Nutrition project, or present a program for other groups, the topic of breakfast is included. An example I like to use is that of a person wanting to go on a lengthy road trip. If the car doesn’t stop for gasoline (fuel), it will eventually sputter, slow down, and come to a halt. Our bodies work the same way – if we don’t eat breakfast, we won’t have the fuel we need to have energy and clarity of mind during the morning hours because our fuel from the day before is gone.
Some individuals say that eating breakfast takes too long, or they don’t have time to prepare something. Well, I have a solution to that! Breakfast doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. As a matter of fact, a bowl of cereal with milk, and maybe a small glass of orange juice provides three foods from three groups, the preparation takes only seconds. Here are some other suggestions for a healthy, quick breakfast:
1) Fruit and crackers– apples, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, any kind of fruit – will provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates for energy
2) Peanut butter and apple or tortilla – provides protein, fiber, and carbohydrates
3) Tortilla and hard-cooked egg (prepared the night before) – provides protein and carbohydrates
4) Almonds and milk – great source of protein and calcium!
5) Oatmeal and juice (the quick cooking variety can be prepared in a microwave – avoid the pre-sweetened varieties) – provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals
6) Left-overs from the evening meal – who says it has to be traditional breakfast foods?
7) Cheese toast – simply add cheese to a piece of bread and pop it in the oven toaster or broiler – provides calcium, protein, and fiber
8) Cereal and milk – just avoid the highly sweetened cereals, and go with the higher fiber, lower sugar varieties – great source of calcium, vitamins, and minerals, as well as varying amounts of fiber
9) Yogurt and granola – again, avoid the highly sweetened yogurts – great source of calcium, fiber, vitamins and minerals
10) Scrambled egg and juice
The best breakfast will include at least three of the food groups (grains, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables), but any combination of two or more groups will be better than nothing at all!
School children who consume breakfast have been proven to do better in school due to being more alert, able to concentrate, and focusing on the assigned tasks. Again, try to avoid highly sugared foods, but do focus on variety. Parents set an example for their children, whether it’s good or bad, so the emphasis should be on good!
Okay, I’m off my soap box now. Happy breakfast eating!
4-H Enrollment Time Reminder!
This simply serves as a reminder that now is the time to sign up for 4-H in order to get the most benefit from all it has to offer. I’ll be meeting with 4-H’ers who are interested in the Foods & Nutrition project in September. Did you know that this is the most popular project, not only in Hopkins County, but nation-wide? Shooting Sports and STEM/Robotics are gaining in popularity, as well. Kids DO NOT have to have an animal to participate in 4-H. As a matter of fact, the majority of our 4-H members don’t have animal projects.
To register, go to https://texas.4honline.com and set up a family profile. Current 4-H members simply need to go in and update information. The cost is $20, which will increase to $25 starting on November 1. You will be asked to select a club as part of the registration process. We have an information sheet at our office listing all the clubs and meeting days in Hopkins County. We also encourage members to select at least 3 projects. This does not obligate you to participate in those projects, but it will give us an idea of what projects are most popular.
For more information, contact our office at 903-885-3443 and we’ll be glad to answer your questions!
A friend is a person with who I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud – Ralph Waldo Emerson