For your health and pocketbook, make breakfast a morning routine

Published on Friday, 8 September 2017 12:15 - Written by PATRICE DUNAGIN, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

There are many reasons to eat breakfast.

Reason 1: Eating breakfast will help you achieve and/or maintain a healthy weight. Breakfast eaters make healthier food choices during the day. Your body reacts differently to food when you skip breakfast. When you don’t eat for a long time, your body thinks you are starving. When you finally eat, energy will be conserved and stored as fat.

Reason 2: Eating breakfast will keep you from overeating throughout the day. If you eat breakfast, you are less likely to be starving at lunch and overeat.

Reason 3: Eating breakfast will give you energy throughout the day. Breakfast provides an early dose of energy, which can lead to higher levels of productivity and physical activity.

Reason 4: Eating breakfast can help save you money. Breakfast will help you feel satiated, which means no daily vending machine purchases ($1.50 per day x 5 times a week x 52 weeks a year = $390!) Eating from home, instead of from a drive-through can also save money. If these reasons haven’t convinced of the importance of breakfast, read a little further.

Reach for lean proteins and whole grains to give you the feeling of satiety. Aim for three or more food groups to ensure a variety of nutrients. Keep it simple; whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk is quick, inexpensive and rich in nutrients.

Here are some quick, nutritious and low-cost ideas for breakfast:

- Eggs: At about 16 cents per serving, you can have a protein-rich breakfast. You can scramble eggs quickly or boil eggs in advance then peel and eat for breakfast.

- Pancakes: They cost about 10 to 15 cents per serving and can be made ahead of time. Each morning, pop one in the toaster until warmed and add some fruit for topping.

- Low-fat or fat-free yogurt: A 6- or 8-ounce serving costs about 50 to 75 cents, and packs protein and calcium in every bite. Add fruit or whole grain cereal for extra nutrients.

- Granola bars: These cost about 50 cents per serving. Read the label to find a whole-grain and low-sugar option. You can also make your own granola bar or granola mix.

For more information contact Patrice Dunagin, Smith County FCS agent for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, at 903-590-2980.