It’s “the most important meal of the day,” yet only about 35% of adult Americans eat a meal in the morning, with the number even lower for teenagers. People skip breakfast for a variety of reasons. Mornings are busy. Some people don’t feel hungry in the morning. Or, they may skip breakfast because they are trying intermittent fasting.
What are the health risks of skipping breakfast?
The truth is, skipping breakfast can have a negative impact on your health. Here are some of the risks:
- You can miss out on some essential nutrients that are common in breakfast foods. For example, calcium and vitamin D in milk; vitamin C from berries or oranges; fiber and iron from whole grain cereals.
- It can slow down your metabolism. Many people think that fasting for a longer period of time is good for their weight; however, this can slow your metabolism over time, leading to weight gain.
- It can lead to night-time cravings. Your body knows when it didn’t get enough energy! It may start craving high-energy, sugary, or high-fat foods later in the day if the morning meal was missed.
- You may feel more sluggish and less alert. Studies suggest that breakfast can increase alertness and enhance both attention span and memory. We fast all night long as we sleep. If you keep your blood sugar low by not eating breakfast, your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to think clearly.
- You might get grumpy! Hangry mornings don’t go well. Having low blood sugar can increase feelings of irritability and aggression.
Quick & Easy Make Ahead Breakfast ideas
Ready to embrace breakfast? Planning ahead makes all the difference. Prep breakfast on days when you have a few free minutes. Use your fridge and freezer to keep items fresh. These easy ideas are made for busy mornings:
- Make whole grain waffles or pancakes in bulk. Cut up fruit the night before, and store in the fridge. In the morning, throw the waffle or pancake in the toaster and top it with your pre-cut fruit.
- Chop some veggies when you have time. In the morning, throw them in a pan with a few eggs and some shredded cheese. This doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
- Make individual smoothie packets with your favorite fruit, half a frozen banana for added sweetness, and a handful of spinach. Freeze them. Toss these in the blender with some low fat milk and your favorite protein powder.
- Overnight oats are fun and easy, and a convenient grab-and-go option. Try this banana coconut overnight oat recipe, found on our blog.
- Make a large pot of stovetop oatmeal on the weekend. Mix with milk, then reheat a portion in the microwave. Top with berries.
- Egg and spinach burritos can be prepped and frozen, or made the morning of.
- Prep hard-boiled eggs and peel them so that on a busy morning, you can chop them fast and serve on a piece of whole grain toast with avocado.
- Bake up some homemade muffins, like these oatmeal flax blueberry muffins from our blog. Freeze them and defrost in the morning.
Nothing prepped and ready? Grab these rather than skipping breakfast
Not a meal prepping person, but still committed to eating breakfast? Keep these items in your pantry and fridge for your busiest mornings:
- A single-serve Greek yogurt cup and fruit is convenient to bring on the go
- High fiber, whole grain cereals are quick and easy. Serve with your favorite milk.
- Keep nuts in your pantry and fruit in the fridge
- No fruit left? milk + protein powder + peanut butter = breakfast
- Make a quick peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread
- Reach for a Kind Breakfast Bar. That’s our go-to for a portable snack that is lower in sugar than many other options.
Meal Planning Made Easy!
Did you know that people who meal plan are more likely to have an overall higher quality food variety? Anderson’s Nutrition has a robust meal planning program to assist you on your journey to simpler, better health. Meet with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists to receive nutrition guidance and a personalized meal plan.
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