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Eating breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive function. Breakfast helps children pay attention in the classroom, and it also helps adults settle down at work.
Skipping breakfast doesn’t ultimately save calories, we are told. People who skip breakfast consume many more calories later in the day.
And it doesn’t need to be time-consuming.
An article by Ann Ludlum in the Fort Scott Tribune suggests reading food labels and choosing whole grain cereals, rather than highly processed food with empty calories.
Whole grain cerieals are complex carbohydrates, which break down slowly, and provide lasting energy. They are often fortified with vitamins and minerals. They are high in fiber (which contributes to digestive health and a “full” feeling that helps mange weight).
Add milk and fruit to cereal and you have a quick, cheap, healthy breakfast that includes three food groups — dairy, grains and fruit.
You can save money by buying a store brand. Often a national brand less a coupon is MORE than the cost of the store brand. Look for less expensive packaging, such as a waxed paper bag. Buy in larger quantities, and the cost per serving will go down. [Cost per serving is usually displayed at the front edge of the store’s shelf.]
A light breakfast at home might be whole wheat toast, yogurt and fresh fruit. And “Breakfasts-to-go”: a cereal bar, if time is an issue — or a bagel with fruit spread — or dry cereal eaten like a snack mix — or fruit — or yogurt.
How about leftovers? A slice of leftover pizza may not be the healthiest choice every day, but it works as an occasional breakfast, and the kids will love it.
And when you can do it, on weekends or holidays, remember that a liesurely breakfast of waffles, pancakes or breakfast casserole can be a good way to have family time. During the school year, a family breakfast can help make up for missed meals when school activities overlap. It might be more relaxed than the evening meal after a hectic day.
And if breakfast at home isn’t possible, do take advantage of school breakfast programs — kids can’t be expected to concentrate on schoolwork when they’re distracted, hungry and seriously counting the minutes till snack or lunch.
sole source: Ann Ludlum’s article in the Fort Scott Tribune on 8/13/08. www.fstribune.com
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