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Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

True. My generation certainly grew up hearing, and believing, in this statement. But it doesn't stop most of us from rushing out in the morning fortified with only a cup of coffee and toast. However, in an estimated 40 percent of American families, there isn't even an adult present in the kitchen to urge children to finish their breakfast. So more children skip breakfast than any other meal. This is one adage that may end with this generation, unfortunately.

While no on has proven conclusively that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it's at least of equal importance with lunch and dinner. Nutritionists warn that your body burns the energy from food within four hours. Although you may use up less energy while you sleep, it's a long time until morning and you still make up with the need for lots more fuel.

Some studies have shown that children who skip breakfast don't do as well in school. Besides lack of energy, we all know how tough it is to concentrate when your stomach's rumbling and you're counting hours until lunch.

In addition, a recent Canadian study suggests that skipping breakfast may increase the chance of a heart attack. It's been known that the incidence of heart attacks is highest in the first few hours after waking. According to the study, the blood protein beta thromboglobulin, which increases as blood cells prime themselves for clotting, averaged nearly three times higher in people who did not eat breakfast.

So, there's no doubt the importance of breakfast is more than just an old wives' tale. The problem comes in following the advice. How do you find time to make a proper meal and then make time to eat it?

The American Health Association recommends that breakfast should supply at least one-fourth of the daily food needs. And it's important to include a variety of foods to supply energy until the next meal. Carbohydrates (bread, for example) can be digested in as little as 30 minutes; however, protein (eggs, milk, meat, cheese) lasts longer, and can help you make it to lunchtime.

Many nutritionists say one answer is in expanding the common idea of what constitutes breakfast. Foods like pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hearty soups and fruit milk shakes are all perfectly acceptable - and more likely to be eater by children. As for the question of preparation time, or lack of it, why not try recycling leftovers from the previous dinner. If, like me, you wake up in the morning barely capable of pouring cereal into a bowl, you can always spend a few minutes at night making a breakfast that only needs a quick nuking in the microwave, or can be eaten cold. Ever try leftover pizza right from the fridge? Not bad!

Source: Old Wives' Tales

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