Most of us have grown up hearing “it is the most important meal of the day. But is it really?
In The Beginning...
Historically, the Romans believed one meal a day was best. Native Americans ate small portions throughout the day. American colonists ate breakfast after hours of morning work. Most historians agree that breakfast started to be a first thing in the morning event during the Industrial Revolution, when workers moved to cities and became employees with set work schedules.
But who needs it?
It may depend on your age. Studies indicate that breakfast has a positive influence on cognitive performance in school, especially on task-oriented behaviors for those 18 years old & younger. But for older folks, the time we consume our first meal is more a matter of personal preference.
Are you what you eat? Well, sort of.
In the mid to late 1800’s, an American doctor by the name of Kellogg (yup, exactly who you think it is!) invented cereal as part of his health protocol. He felt too much red meat and spices were harmful to the body. This convenience food found favor during the industrial revolution and by 1903, there were a 100 cereal companies in Dr. Kellogg’s town of Battle Creek alone.
Advertising has played a part in breakfast promotion since the beginning. In the 1930’s, cartoon mascots drove the cereal train to appeal to children with caricatures such as Tony the Tiger (Frosted Flakes) and Snap, Crackle, and Pop (Rice Krispies).
In the 1920’s the Beech-Nut Packing Company wanted to increase consumption of the bacon they produced. The company’s marketers got 5,000 doctors to promote a “heavier breakfast” namely, bacon and eggs. This ‘study‘ was published in major newspapers & magazines and Beech-Nut’s profits soared.
Last but not least…
Your body doesn’t know WHAT you are eating. It only knows what it breaks down to and asks “are we going to use it or store it?” If you aren’t hungry first thing when you wake-up, at least rehydrate. And if you are hungry, whether it is left-over pizza, Chinese take-out, a salad or more traditional fare, it can be included in a balanced diet. Your first meal of the day, whatever your schedule; “breaks the fast” and fuels your body with the energy it needs to be
Blog provided by: Karen Foster RD, LD