Is Eating Breakfast Really That Important?

Many of the teens I work with tell me they skip breakfast… and I hear lots of reason why they aren't eating breakfast.

"I’m not hungry in the morning"
"I don't have time for breakfast"
"When I eat breakfast, I am hungry"
"I don't eat breakfast because I am trying to lose weight"

Does one of these sound like you? If you don't eat breakfast for one of these (or any other) reasons, you should consider adding breakfast into your morning routine. Research shows that eating breakfast can help you do better in school by improving memory, concentration, and test scores. Research also tells us that people who eat breakfast have healthier weights than people who don't. So, if you aren't eating breakfast as an effort to control your weight, STOP! Eating breakfast is especially important for girls who have PCOS, because what you eat in the morning plays a part in how your body regulates insulin throughout the day.

If you’re someone who tends to get hungrier after eating breakfast, what you're eating for breakfast may be to blame. Many breakfast foods are high in sugar or refined grains (such as muffins, pancakes, syrup, bagels, breakfast pastries, sweet cereals, etc.). These foods can leave you hungry an hour or two after eating them.  Foods with protein and fiber in them are much more filling. Teens, especially those with PCOS, should make sure to include a source of protein and fiber with breakfast. Protein is found in breakfast foods such as eggs, peanut butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, and vegetarian sausage. Fiber is found in fruit and whole grains such as whole grain cereal (look for a cereal that has at least 6 grams of fiber per serving), steel cut oatmeal, and whole wheat toast.

Even if you're short on time in the morning, you can grab something for breakfast on your way out of the house or into school. Consider having a portable high protein or high fiber food such as an apple, a drinkable yogurt, dry high-fiber cereal in a bag, a granola bar made with whole grains, a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, or a coffee drink made with milk (such as a latte or a cappuccino).

So, to answer the question… yes, breakfast is really the most important meal of the day.

-Nutritionist Kendrin