Growing up, I loved eating those sugary cereals that had games on the back of the box or even a prize inside! As a mom, I let my girls pick their favorite cereal which was usually Cocoa Pebbles or Lucky Charms. I would also buy cereals that were advertised as ‘healthier’ options that were ‘whole grain’ or ‘low in sugar’. I didn’t understand why I was constantly hungry within one hour of eating breakfast until I learned the importance of what I was feeding my body.
“Breakfast” means just that: break the overnight fast. After a night of not eating, your blood sugar drops, depriving the brain of fuel and throwing neurochemicals out of balance. To make up for the low blood sugar, your body tries to tap into energy stores by releasing stress hormones. If you don’t refuel with a healthy breakfast, you are more likely to be moody, unable to concentrate and crave sugar throughout the day.
A nutritious breakfast steadies the blood sugar, which is essential to maintaining your energy and preventing mood swings. The best breakfasts contain a balance of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and a bit of healthy fat (especially omega-3s). This combination allows for the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, providing energy all morning long. Some of our family’s favorites include:
- Mashed avocado on whole-wheat toast with fruit
- Peanut butter and banana on whole-wheat toast
- Scrambled eggs and fruit
- Apple with nut butter
- Green smoothies
- Oatmeal with fruit
- Whole wheat waffles (see my Recipes)
If cereal is still your preference, read the label and look for those that have less than 5 grams of sugar, at least 3 grams for protein and 3 grams of fiber in each serving.
Feed your body and brain the nutrients it needs to start the day off on the right foot both physically and mentally!