Editor's note: Is breakfast the most important meal of the day for you? It should be! We had the opportunity to chat with Ellie Krieger about how to fit this crucial meal into your daily routine.
dailySpark: Everyone always says that breakfast is the ''most important meal of the day." In your words, what are the benefits of eating a good breakfast in the morning?
Ellie Krieger: The reason why breakfast is so important is because it sets you up to eat well and perform well for the rest of the day. It helps you stay focused; in fact, kids who eat breakfast do better in school and on cognitive tests. Eating breakfast is also one of the key habits of people who have lost weight and kept it off. Lots of people skip breakfast to save calories, but it backfires because you'll end up eating more later on in the day to compensate. Breakfast is also a great opportunity to get in some key nutrients that a lot of people are lacking in: potassium, vitamin D, fiber, and calcium. If you eat a breakfast with milk and a whole grain, you'll be getting these nutrients and more, which is a great way to start your day.
dS: We agree that eating breakfast is important, but some people feel too rushed and busy to do it! What are your top time-saving tips for eating breakfast?
EK: Keep it simple. Cereal with milk is a tried-and-true option, and I also like smoothies. I make one that I like to call my ''Start Right Smoothie"; I just blend together some milk, fruit, honey, wheat germ, and almonds. It has such a great texture and flavor to it! My 9- year-old daughter makes it for me sometimes, too, which is a great opportunity to get her involved in helping out with cooking and interested in healthy foods. It's also a good way for us to have some family time while eating together.
dS: Besides smoothies and drinking milk plain, what are some other ways to incorporate it into breakfast?
EK: I love to make a nice warm latte with milk, which gives you an extra protein boost with your morning coffee (milk has more protein than an egg!). I like to drink my latte with one of my breakfast cookies on the side—I make them with nuts, fruit, and whole grains, so they're tasty as well as good for you. Plus, how could you not love having cookies for breakfast? Sometimes I'll make a batch of them and keep them in the freezer for later use.
dS: Those breakfast cookies sound delicious! Any other ideas for big-batch cooking items you can make on the weekends to last throughout the week?
EK: Sometimes I'll put my smoothie ingredients in a blender and stick it in the fridge the night before. I'll also make pancakes on Sunday and save a little extra batter to make more on Monday morning. But rather than rushing through breakfast, I really recommend taking 15 minutes to make it family time. You always hear about how important it is to have a sit-down family dinner, but breakfast can be a family meal, too. Everyone's in the same place at the same time, which doesn't happen very often in this crazy life!
Be a role model for your children by sharing nutritious food with them and taking time to be together in the morning. One tip I have (from thebreakfastproject.com) is to set out placemats the night before so that the table is ready to go first thing in the morning. It reminds you to eat breakfast and to take that time out for your family. It doesn't have to be a big, extravagant breakfast; I'm only talking about 10 to 15 minutes. 1 in 5 people skip breakfast in America and it's time to change that!
dS: Since we've only been talking about breakfasts to make on busy weekday mornings, what is your ideal breakfast to make on a lazy Sunday that's easy, but leisurely and healthy as well?
EK: I am all about pancakes—it's one of the first recipes my daughter and I made together. They're a healthy and comforting option. I make them with plenty of fresh fruit, whole wheat flour, and milk, sometimes with a latte on the side. Like I said, refrigerating the batter to use again the next morning is a great time-saver, and can make your Monday morning family breakfast seem a little extra special!
Thanks to Ellie Krieger for sharing her tips on bringing breakfast back! Hopefully you'll be able to use some of these ideas to get the whole family involved in eating breakfast.
Do you eat breakfast in the morning? What's your favorite go-to breakfast?
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