Power up your mornings with a healthy breakfast
When you were young, you heard your parents say all the time that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And now, you are probably repeating it to your sleepy, grumpy, frazzled kids, when they insist that they’re not hungry and you try to feed and get them moving in the morning.
Eating breakfast is not just for kids. A healthy breakfast is a must for everyone, and is a great way to provide the body with the refueling it needs. After a long night’s sleep, your body becomes low on energy, proteins, vitamins and minerals, making breakfast very important.
A healthy breakfast helps you get a good head-start. As you leave for work every day, and your kids go to school where they actively learn in the classroom and hit the playground with their friends, a healthy power-packed breakfast ensures that you and your children are energized until lunch.
When planning a healthy balanced breakfast, you should make it a point to include at least 3 of the 4 food groups in your diet, which are:
1. Vegetables and fruits
2. Grain products like breads and cereals
3. Milk and milk products
4. Meat, beans and nuts
If we speak in terms of nutrients, the most important nutrients that you need in your diet to start your day the right way are calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber. Getting these vitamins and minerals first thing in the morning gives you a jump-start on your nutrient requirements for the day.
Milk is the top source of 3 out of 4 of these nutrients, apart from being a good source of high-quality vitamin A, phosphorous, magnesium and certain B vitamins. Milk and other dairy products are also rich in proteins which are essential for building bones and immune elements, as well as developing and maintaining lean muscle. It is important that you get enough proteins during breakfast, rather than not having proteins throughout the day and finally having it at dinner. A large portion of protein eaten at dinner is actually wasted as the body cannot use so much at one time. Hence, morning is the best time to increase your intake of protein to provide you a steady amount through the course of the day. So have a protein-packed breakfast, and avoid that gnawing, 11 am feeling of hunger.
With busy school and work schedules, we are constantly finding ourselves grabbing breakfast on the go, and sometimes even skipping it altogether. We simply do not have enough time in the morning to sit down at the breakfast table and enjoy a meal together. Milk is the thing to reach out for during busy mornings to make sure you and your family are well-nourished to meet the challenges of the day. While drinking a glassful of milk or having it with cereal is the simplest way to include milk in your breakfast, you may also power up your breakfast by trying recipes made with dairy products.
Sometimes, if you sleep in too late or don’t feel too hungry in the morning, you can try some brief breakfast ideas made with dairy products. To get started, you can have a smoothie, milkshake, or other blender recipes. All you need is equal parts of fresh, frozen or canned fruit, and a milk product of your choice – milk, yogurt, or buttermilk. Quick blender drinks are a great way to get you going in the morning. For a balanced meal, you can team them up with a whole grain toast, waffles or pancakes. You can also add milk or yogurt and some fruit to your cereal, and have it for breakfast. Oatmeal or brown rice cooked with milk are also great options. If you are looking for a really quick breakfast, grab a piece of cheese or paneer slice, place it between two bread slices, and bite into it while you’re on your way. Another quick and satisfying breakfast idea is to have a whole grain bagel, peanut butter and sliced banana, and wash it down with a glass of milk.
There are numerous ways in which you can incorporate dairy products into your breakfast diet. Milk and milk products in the morning is a healthy habit that helps provide you with nutrients you need for the day and benefits that extend well beyond the morning. So, start your day with dairy and get all the necessary daily nutrients for recommended healthy diets.