Breaking the fast

Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day.

Senior Jennifer Quillen picks out a fruit cup from the cafeteria. Fruit is an essential part of a healthy breakfast but should be accompanied by protein and grains. the old saying

Bea D'Amico

Senior Jennifer Quillen picks out a fruit cup from the cafeteria. Fruit is an essential part of a healthy breakfast but should be accompanied by protein and grains. the old saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is still relevant, but is often undermined by rushing to school in the morning. In a time crunch, choose a grab-n-go, low-fat option like a protein bar.

Kendra Harvey, Managing Editor

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A sleepy teenager’s growling stomach at the end of first period and her filling up on sugary, fatty foods can be attributed to staying up past midnight doing homework, sleeping through her alarm, rushing to get ready in the morning and skipping a crucial breakfast.

Yet, finding time to eat a protein-filled breakfast can improve focus in class and decrease cravings for the rest of the day.

“Eating breakfast gives your body important protein to start the day,” holistic nutrition consultant Caitlin Weeks said. “It also helps to stabilize your blood sugar so that you will make better choices and have even energy throughout the day.”

Whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables provide the essential vitamins and energy. Hard-boiled eggs, whole grain rolls and bagels, vegetable and fruit smoothies, plain yogurts and lean poultry are the best morning options for breakfast, according to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

“If I’m hungry, I don’t focus as much because I’m just focusing on food,” freshman Abby Anderson, who eats breakfast daily, said.

Thirty-one million Americans skip breakfast everyday, the largest demographic being adolescents, according to The National Purchase Diary Group.

“There has to be some education around breakfast, and I think high schoolers are so encouraged to eat whatever they can find, but that’s not really going to serve them,” Weeks said. “They have to care more about how they are going to feel. They have to take some interest in their own health.”

Breakfast lives up to the description of being the “most important meal of the day” and should be filled with energy sustaining foods.

“People need to get away from the idea of breakfast as dessert foods because if you are eating cereal or even oatmeal or toasted pastries or bagels, all that stuff just turns to sugar immediately,” Weeks said. “It will make you be hungry in about two hours.”

Protein and healthy fats are essential parts of breakfast, but some teens resort to easier, quicker foods for their morning meal.

“It just really depends on the day,” senior Jennifer Quillen said. “Sometimes it’s cereal, and sometimes it’s one of those microwavable Eggo waffles, and sometimes it’s oatmeal.”

Teenagers need to take their health into their control for their overall well being, according to Weeks.

“It comes when they see some improved concentration in their tests or better grades,” Weeks said. “A lot of kids are trying to get into colleges, and if they see some improvements in their ability to focus and concentrate, they might get more committed to fixing their breakfast the night before and shop for more healthy foods.”

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