By JEWEL CALABRO
What did you eat this morning? Eggs? Bacon? Some pancakes? Maybe nothing? Adults have always told their children that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” but, is it really?
Getting up in the morning is a struggle for most people. In particular, teens these days are extra difficult to get out of bed. Perhaps this is because they juggle doing homework all night, waking up at the crack of dawn, sports, clubs, community service, chores and more. No wonder it’s such a struggle to get up. Not only getting up, but they must have enough time to get dressed, grab the homework, make a lunch/grab lunch money, and get out the door on time for the bus or to drive to school. This often leaves little to no time for “the most important” meal.
In a poll of 100 students at Washingtonville High School, 65% of students say they do eat a breakfast in the morning. The other 35% said they don’t bother eating at all. On average, teens on a school day would eat breakfast, but not necessarily sit down and eat a full hearty meal. They are more likely to just grab a granola bar and a a piece of fruit, or a bowl of cereal. If they’re lucky. Now the question has become, are there actually any benefits to eating breakfast, or is no breakfast the way to go?
Although many words have a literal meaning such as “afternoon” (after the noon, 12 o’ clock), splitting “breakfast” into “break fast” seems like a little bit of a stretch to many. No it doesn’t mean it’s a fast break. It actually means that with this meal, one is breaking the overnight “fasting.” Every night adults should be getting around eight hours of sleep. Kids and teens should roughly receive nine to ten hours of sleep a night. Regardless, that's a lot of time to go without eating in one day.
“The body uses a lot of energy stored for growth and repair through the night,” explains Sarah Elder, a dietitian with the BDA (British Dietetic Association). “Eating a balanced breakfast helps to up our energy, as well as protein and calcium used throughout the night.” In other words, by the end of the night, you are pretty hungry whether you realize it or not.
“Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism,” states WebMD, “helping you burn calories throughout the day.” Breakfast can also help start the full awakening of the body. Once it takes in that energy, it will feel more refreshing, and much less sleep-deprived. This meal restores the energy that was used up overnight.
Okay, so breakfast is pretty important. But what is the ideal meal to consume at the early hours of the day? Should this be a grand feast to fill up the gas tank, or a small snack to keep one going until lunch? It's more like the story of Goldilocks: something in between.
The real answer depends solely on one’s daily routine. The type to rush around in the morning are the “grab-n-go" breakfast eaters, then there are people who sit down and take time to make something a little more substantial. However, there is a middle ground here.
Since most Americans have little to no time getting breakfast that’s not from a fast food chain, a solution to this is simple: any free time, either over the weekend, or the night before, one can make a nutritious, filling, and healthy breakfast.
One quick breakfast remedy is to make a fruit smoothie. Chop up favorite fruits, such as bananas, strawberries, and raspberries. Even vegetables, nuts, and eggs, could work. Then, blend the ingredients together with some milk, cream, or water. Place that in the fridge and it will last for weeks. In the morning take out a travel mug/cup, fill it up and go.
Adding fruits, proteins (eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham), dairy, and grain (oats, wheat) are key elements to a great tasting, and healthy breakfast. To find more "the-night-before" recipes, go to https://www.purewow.com/food/overnight-breakfast-recipes/slide1. These recipes are healthy and give you enough energy for the day ahead. The most important meal of the day can now be the greatest.