December 5, 2020

Breakfast, the Most Important Meal of the Day

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The International Medical Group is a multi-disciplinary medical practice that offers professional and personalised care. Brandi Propas is the newest addition to The International Medical Group. She is a registered dietician and her services are a welcome complement to the clinic. The International Medical Group performs a wide range of services from general family medicine and specialist services to Botox, dermal fillers and natural hormone replacement therapy. We always welcome new patients and will assist you in any way that we can to ensure that you get the treatment and care that you need. Stop by our offices or call us with any questions. We look forward to meeting you.

Your mother was right:  breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The problem is, however, most adults aren’t heeding their mother’s advice.  In fact, 35% of American adults don’t consume breakfast on a regular basis. Not American? Statistics out of the United Kingdom show that up to 57% of adults with children don’t eat breakfast regularly.  Canadians, you aren’t off the hook either.  A 2006 study shows 40% of Canadians skip breakfast at least once per week and 15% don’t eat breakfast at all.  Not American, British or Canadian? You’re still not off the hook.  These trends apply here in Cayman:  take a look around your office, ask your friends, evaluate your own eating habits and you’ll find there aren’t too many regular breakfast eaters.

Why is breakfast so important and why all the concern? A study by the American Heart Association showed that people who ate a regular well-balanced breakfast had half the chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes.  Breakfast also has a direct effect on weight management. In fact, people who skip breakfast regularly are four times more likely to be obese compared to people who eat breakfast regularly according to research published by the American  Journal of Epidemiology.  Breakfast helps to regulate appetite and gives your metabolism that energy boost it needs after not eating for a long period of time, hence the name “breaking the fast”.  People who skip breakfast also tend to overeat later in the day on foods high in calories and fat and low in nutritional value and are less likely to meet their daily
nutrient requirements.

Breakfast eaters also tend to meet their daily fibre requirements more so than non-breakfast eaters. Typical breakfast foods, such as whole grain cereals and oatmeal, are high in fibre.  The average adult consumes 15 grams of fibre per day, well below the recommended 25 to 35 grams per day. Some cereals have as much as 13 grams of fibre per one serving so breakfast is a great opportunity to get in a large proportion of your daily fibre requirements. High fibre breakfast foods also include whole grain bread, peanut butter and fruit. These are also low in saturated fat and heart healthy. Other common breakfast foods such as milk and yogurt are also high in essential vitamins and minerals.

Most concerning is the impact skipping breakfast can have on children. As we know, children model their behavior on that of their parents’. Not surprising, there has been an increase in the amount of children skipping breakfast. One study showed that 45% of grade 9 students do not eat breakfast regularly.  There is clear evidence to show that a child’s academic performance suffers when they go to school on an empty stomach. Specifically skipping breakfast interferes with cognition and learning. One study also showed that breakfast eaters had greater attention and episodic memory. Alertness and contentment were also significantly increased in the group of children that ate breakfast compared to those that did not.  It is therefore extremely important that if you are a parent to young children that you eat breakfast which will encourage them to eat it as well.

We are all pressed for time but try at least a few times each week to sit down as a family and eat breakfast together. Even if this is only on weekends it will still have a big impact on your children.

If you find that you don’t have time for breakfast most days, keep in mind that there are quick and healthy “on the go” breakfast options. Some quick breakfast ideas that you can take with you to work include high fibre breakfast bars, instant oatmeal, yogurt or whole grain toast with a slice of cheese. There really aren’t any excuses for not including breakfast on a daily basis.

So, break the current trend and listen to the message of past generations:  breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Easy Breakfast Ideas

  • Cereal with milk and berries
  • Yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Egg on whole grain toast with an orange
  • Oatmeal with berries and a glass of milk
  • Toasted frozen waffles with yogurt and fruit
  • Whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Cereal bar with a banana and glass of milk
  • Bran muffin, orange juice and a slice of cheese

A Kid-Friendly Recipe Idea

Potato and Pea Frittata

A frittata is an Italian style omelet that is eaten warm or cold. Your child can help you prepare it by washing vegetables, mixing ingredients, or scooping the mixture into the muffin cups.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes,  cooked and cooled
  • 1 cup (250 mL) frozen green peas, thawed
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) Parmesan cheese
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) red pepper, diced

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

2. Dice the potatoes and mix with the peas in a bowl. Place 2 spoonfuls of the potato and pea mixture in each muffin cup.

3. Beat together the egg, cheese and pepper in a bowl.

4. Pour the egg mixture into muffin cups filling each one almost to the top. Sprinkle with 3 to 4 pieces of red pepper.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden.

To serve, remove each frittata from the muffin cups.

Makes 8 servings

(Adapted from: Cooking in the Community, Toronto Public Health, 2004)

 

 

 

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