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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone. It breaks the overnight fasting period, replenishes the supply of glucose in human body and provides other essential nutrients to boost energy levels to keep up with the rest of the day.

Why should I be aware of this?

  • Many studies have found a relationship between eating breakfast and learning ability, attention span, and general well-being.
  • The American Dietetic Association reports that adults who eat breakfast have an easier time losing weight.
  • Children who regularly eat breakfast think faster, clearer, solve problems more easily, and are less likely to be irritable.
  • Studies also point at a connection between skipping breakfast with weight gain and memory impairment in young and older adults.
  • Children who skip breakfast may lack sufficient vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B2.

How does this affect me?

"Eating breakfast is very important for the brain and the body first thing in the morning", according Los Angeles registered dietitian Gail Frank, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Breakfast skippers often feel tired, restless or irritable in the morning." [1]

  • Children who eat a good breakfast tend to perform better in school, and have a better attendance and decreased hyperactivity.
  • Children who do not eat breakfast tend to perform not as well, and also tend to have behavior problems such as fighting, stealing, and not listening to their teachers.

Skipping breakfast

  • Many children who skip breakfast are significantly heavier and may suffer from childhood obesity or teenage obesity.
  • Skipping breakfast can diminish mental performance.
  • Eating high fibre breakfast cereals reduces fatigue.
  • Children who eat an inadequate breakfast are more likely to make poor food choices for the rest of the day and in the long term.
  • People who eat breakfast have more nutritious diets than people who skip breakfast. They also have better eating habits as they are less likely to be hungry for snacks during the day.

All about breakfast

If your child eats breakfasts at home, choose a breakfast with milk, fruit and cereal( grain product). These three foods make a good breakfast.

Healthy breakfast ideas

  • Ready-to-eat whole grain cereal topped with fruit and a cup of yoghurt.
  • Whole-grain waffles topped with peanut butter, fruit or ricotta cheese.
  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs.
  • Hot cereal topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or cloves.
  • Peanut butter on a bagel with fresh fruit (banana or apple wedges) and low-fat milk.
  • Breakfast smoothie.
  • Vegetable omelet with a bran muffin and orange juice.

Breakfast foods

Research has shown that school children are more likely to eat breakfast if easy-to-prepare breakfast foods are readily available at home. Some quick suggestions include:

  • Whole-wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereals such as wheat biscuits, muesli or bran cereals
  • Porridge – use quick oats
  • Fresh fruits
  • Wholemeal or multigrain bread to toast
  • Muffins or crumpets
  • Toast toppings, such as baked beans, eggs, cheese or spreads
  • Fruit or plain yoghurts
  • Fresh fruit juices
  • Low fat milk.

Breakfasts can also be classified according to regions.

Continental breakfast

A light continental breakfast may include a selection of coffees, teas, juices, fruits, toast, breakfast cereals and assorted pastries. A continental breakfast does not include meat.

American breakfast

American breakfast includes most or all of the following: two eggs (fried or poached), sliced bacon or sausages, sliced bread or toast with jam/jelly/butter, pan cakes with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, coffee/tea, orange/grapefruit juice.

English breakfast

Traditional English breakfast, also called full breakfast is served in inns or restaurants. It may include cereals, porridge or stewed prunes, melon, yoghurt, boiled eggs or bacon and eggs, grilled fish, sausages, grilled or fried mushrooms or tomatoes with fried bread, followed by toasted bread and marmalade and tea or coffee. Modern English breakfast served in hotels or motels may include cereals, bacon and eggs, toasted bread and marmalade with tea or coffee.


  • Healthy breakfast need not be protein rich-- There is a myth that a healthy breakfast consists of high protein, low carbohydrate foods such as eggs, sausage and bacon. A healthy breakfast actually comprises milk, fruits, and cereal.
  • Pancakes are good for breakfast items -- Whether a pancake comes from a mix, batter or a box out of the freezer, it is likely to be nutritionally equivalent of white bread. Most pancakes are loaded with sodium, largely because they contain baking soda.
  • French Toast is a healthy breakfast -- Frozen French toast is somewhat fattier and sweeter than waffles or pancakes and sticks have more fat and sugar than slices. In french toast, whole grains and fiber are scarce and calcium levels are mediocre. Two slices of French toast are close to two slices of white bread with a teaspoon of margarine and a tablespoon of jam.
  • Breakfast sandwiches -- Most breakfast sandwiches are not heart friendly as they have eggs, cheese and sausage or bacon or ham on a biscuit or croissant. These might have 20 to 30 grams of fat, four to 12 of them saturated, in each sandwich.
  • Toaster pastries -- Toaster pastries are very popular due to their convenience and the supposed belief that added vitamins make them a healthy breakfast. Most toaster pastries have too much saturated fat or too much sugar. Nearly all are low in fiber, protein and calcium.

See also


  • breakfast
  • "Rise and Shine for Breakfast time!"
  • Continental breakfast
  • American breakfast
  • English breakfast