Most people wouldn’t think of leaving the house in the morning without showering or brushing their teeth. Eating a healthy breakfast is just as important, but often neglected. “For some reason eating got in the category of something you can let slide,” says Joan Salge Blake, a clinical assistant professor of nutrition at Sargent College, “and you shouldn’t, because when you are well fed and well nourished, you’re happier, more energetic, and more prepared to learn.”
When people skip breakfast, they not only become lethargic, Salge Blake says, but also pass up a good opportunity to get the kinds of foods and nutrients many Americans lack, such as whole grains, fruit, and low-fat diary. “It’s no wonder these food groups are coming in low,” she says. “Breakfast is a perfect and easy meal for you to get these items.”
For students or staff on the run, Salge Blake suggests packing breakfast in an insulated lunch bag and taking it to go. “People say they don’t have time for breakfast, but they have time to start hunting for food at 10:30 a.m. when they’re starving. By that point they may have access only to vending machines or quick snack foods” she says. “They waste more time hunting for the food than they would eating before they left the house or packing something for later.”
Salge Blake’s suggestions for some fast, portable breakfasts include a carton of yogurt with a serving of whole grain cereal on top or a piece of fruit and two slices of whole wheat toast with low-fat cheese in between. She calls these “classic breakfast options,” but says unconventional breakfast foods can be good too. “If you want to have a sandwich in the morning, have a sandwich in the morning,” she says. “Have whatever appeals to you. The point is to eat and to eat foods that are rich in whole grains, fruits, lean diary, and some good fat.”
To help students recognize healthy breakfast choices, Sargent College is providing free bagged breakfasts on Monday, October 3, from 7:30 to 10 a.m. in the school’s lobby. The breakfast giveaway is part of Sargent’s Health Lifestyle Challenge, which encourages the BU community to make healthy habits a part of everyday life.