Breakfast can be just about any food

January 11, 2000|By Lynn F. Little

Students who eat breakfast do more and better work in school than those who don't. Students who don't eat breakfast tire more quickly, are more irritable and react more slowly than those who do. This effect is even more pronounced in undernourished children.

cont. from lifestyle

Breakfast consumption has declined over the past 25 years, particularly in homes where children fix their own breakfasts. The reasons for skipping breakfast are many. The ones most often heard include: "There isn't time," "There's nothing in the house that I like to eat for breakfast," "I'm tired of eating the same thing every morning," "Food that early makes me sick" and "I'm skipping breakfast for weight control."

You don't have to spend a lot of time making or eating breakfast, but you do have to do some planning. It's a little hard to have cereal and milk when there's no milk in the house, for example.


Tired of typical breakfast fare? Don't let that be an excuse.

Breakfast can be just about anything, from last night's leftover pizza to a peanut butter sandwich to cereal and milk. For the person on the run, a blender delight - milk, ice cream and fruit or juice - might hit the spot. If this doesn't appeal to you, try granola bars or peanut butter and oatmeal cookies. Served with milk, they provide the early-morning energy that kids on the go need. Grapes, apples, bananas, hunks of cheese, cartons of yogurt and hard-cooked eggs are other quick and easy on-the-go breakfast ideas.

After lack of time, saving calories is the most common reason given for skipping breakfast. If your typical breakfast is a couple of doughnuts and coffee with two teaspoons of sugar, you should be concerned about the value of the calories you're taking in at breakfast.

The answer, however, is not to skip breakfast but to select a breakfast that gives you the nutrients you need to get you going for the fewest calories. For example, 8 ounces of skim milk with 1 ounce of dry cereal or toast and 6 ounces of fruit juice has less than 250 calories but enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to help you avoid midmorning fatigue and the subsequent urge to eat anything in sight.

All foods can work for breakfast.

The main thing is to include something to eat as part of your morning routine. Examine your family's breakfast habits; strive to provide breakfast, power for the morning.

Maryland Cooperative Extension programs are open to all citizens without regard to race, color, sex, disability, age, religion or national origin.

Lynn F. Little is a family and consumer sciences extension educator for Maryland Cooperative Extension, Washington County.

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