Spending time with the Lord, reading our Bible and praying, first thing in the morning is the best way to start a new day. It is spiritual food for spiritual health. Mark 1:35 says “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” We grow in our walk with the Lord when we spend time with Him. We also need food for physical health.

Breakfast is defined as the meal that “breaks the fast” from extended hours without food while sleeping. Energy levels are low by morning, and we need food.

Eating a healthy balanced breakfast is important for everyone and can have a positive impact on overall health. Children who eat breakfast are more able to pay attention, do their best work in school, perform problem solving tasks and have fewer behavior problems than those who don’t eat breakfast. They also have better school attendance, less tardiness and have fewer hunger-induced stomach aches and other symptoms mid-morning than those without breakfast.

Adults who eat breakfast tend to do better at work, snack less and get more nutrients than those who don’t eat breakfast. Some adults believe skipping breakfast is a good way to reduce calories to lose weight. The reality is eating a healthful breakfast can support weight management because it tends to minimize snacking on nutrient-poor, calorie-rich snack foods and beverages later in the morning and/or overeating at lunch.

In spite of many benefits of eating breakfast, it is likely the most often skipped and neglected meal of the day. Some reasons may include oversleeping, not liking traditional breakfast foods or not keeping breakfast foods available.

Tips to encourage eating a healthful breakfast:

• Plan breakfasts including a variety of foods to provide carbohydrate, protein and a fat source resulting in a sustained release of energy throughout the morning.

• Make breakfast part of your morning routine. Set out breakfast bowls or plates and eating utensils before going to bed.

• Breakfast does not need to be traditional to be healthful. Leftover heated cheese pizza or a chicken sandwich with reduced fat cheese and tomato slices on whole wheat bread and a glass of vegetable juice are good options.

• Stock the kitchen with easy-to-serve breakfast foods.

Healthful breakfast ideas:

• Whole wheat tortilla spread with scrambled eggs, cooked diced bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and sliced mushrooms, sprinkled with grated reduced fat cheese and rolled—serve with fresh orange segments

• Cold whole grain cereal with sliced peaches, chopped pecans and skim milk

• Toasted frozen whole wheat waffle, spread with almond butter, fresh pear or apple slices and a glass of skim milk

• Low fat cottage cheese with canned pineapple tidbits in its own juice and a whole wheat bagel half, topped with mashed avocado
• Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins, topped with vanilla yogurt

• Grilled breakfast sandwich with whole wheat bread, sliced lean ham and low fat cheese—serve with melon slices or grape clusters

• Whole wheat toast with melted reduced fat cheese—served with tomato and avocado slices

• Whole grain toasted English muffin, spread with peanut butter, topped with sliced apple or raisins and a glass of skim milk

•Bran muffin—serve with cut up fresh fruit, topped with vanilla yogurt and sprinkled with chopped nuts

• Egg salad stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket-serve with a banana and cup of yogurt