Let’s get this straight––we all need to eat a healthy breakfast. We 0ver 50s, may decide to save on calories by skipping it, or we may be in too big a hurry to cook it, but all the experts agree that it is best to eat a small, but nutritious breakfast. There are good reasons for their opinion. First, eating in the morning gets your metabolism going. Your body has to digest the food and it begins to send the nutrients throughout the body. That helps to prevent the gnawing hunger mid-morning which often leads to eating unhealthy donuts, pastries and the like when the hunger impulse hits your tummy. Studies also show that elderly people who eat a healthy breakfast maintain higher levels of memory, concentration and focus. Overall, those who eat a good but not too high in calories breakfast also maintain a healthy weight, important for grans on the run and important for health and well being.
If you are in a hurry in the mornings, you’ll need to think of ways to put together a nutritious breakfast in a short amount of time. Following are lists of good choices for a quick, but solid start to your day:
Blender drinks, smoothies.
Most of us think milkshake when we hear the word “smoothie” and actually a healthy smoothie does taste a lot like a rich milkshake. The basics here are fresh or frozen fruits blended with milk, yogurt or water. Adding soy or whey protein adds to the nutritional value of the drink. Using frozen fruit thickens the drink or you can add ice cubes. A dash of vanilla or other flavoring spices up your smoothie. If you aren’t opposed to a green drink, try adding a handful of your favorite salad greens to your blender for added vitamins and minerals.
Hot cereals are a better choice than cold, mostly because hot cereals are closer to the original state of the grain––they’re more “whole grain.” Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat with honey or nuts or dried fruit mixed in makes a wholesome and satisfying breakfast. If you don’t have time to cook in the mornings, try making the cereal the night before and letting it “cook” overnight in a thermos. Granola is a favorite with many, but beware of the high fat and sugar content of bought granola. Better to make your own and regulate the ingredients. Even better, mix your granola with yogurt or hot cereal to enjoy the crunch and flavor without the added calories.
For the Adventurous Grandparent
If you’re tired of the breakfast items easily prepared in the morning and want a change, try some of these choices: cold low-fat cheese pizza, veggie sticks, slices of cheese or meats, whole wheat crackers, hummus, cottage cheese, string cheese or hard-boiled eggs. Many of these items carry well in your car for a quick but healthy breakfast while on your commute.
Some Old Favorites
A breakfast sandwich of whole grain bread and scrambled egg with a bit of meat or cheese is far healthier when cooked at home. Cream cheese on a bagel is a good choice, and half of the bagel is a better choice. Peanut butter, almond butter or cream cheese are better choices on toast than butter and jam. Even though nut butters carry quite a few calories, they are high in protein.
Don’t be fooled by boxes of breakfast bars or nutrition bars heavy on fats and sugars. They aren’t much better than eating a greasy donut, and they’ll leave you hungry and unsatisfied by mid-morning.
Take a good look at your morning eating patterns and see where just one or two good choices can make for a healthier beginning to your day.