Monday RD Feature: Breakfast: Most Important Meal?

RDN Erin McNamara explains her views on breakfast and the importance of eating a nutrient dense meal in order to fuel your day. Implementing healthy eating patterns and habits is a great way to work towards your New Years resolution of a healthier, happier you!


Breakfast. I think we’ve all heard it before. It’s the most important meal of the day. Hmm, okay. 

What? Don’t think I’m on board with that? Well, sure. But I also think it depends. It depends on what you’re eating for breakfast. If you’re eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast, then I am all for it. But if you’re grabbing an extra large muffin or bagel to go or slurping down a bowl of sugary cereal, then no I’m not on board.

I’ll admit it. There were many years that went by when breakfast was not part of my day. And honestly it’s is my least favorite meal of the day. Mainly because “typical breakfast foods” were and are not appealing to me. Think about it. Pancakes with syrup, cinnamon buns, coffee cakes, doughnuts – this might as well be dessert! I hate to burst your bubble, but these are not the breakfasts of champions!

If breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, then do yourself a favor and refuel your body properly. Your best bet? Try to avoid eating a breakfast consisting of mainly refined carbohydrates. What does that mean? Add some protein, add some fruit, add some vegetables! Ideally it should consist of a combination of grains (ideally whole), protein/dairy, fruit/vegetable and fat. This provides a good combination to carry you through the morning. 

When it comes to breakfast, think outside the box. I recently read that certain cultures insist on a salad at every meal. While a salad at breakfast may not be up your alley, there are many other ways to create a balanced breakfast. 

And I’ll admit. I’m not your typical breakfast eater. It’s not unusual for me to have a side of broccoli with my eggs. Or to have dinner leftovers or a big bowl of soup or a sandwich with a side of carrots. All true stories. It’s rare for me to have breakfast without vegetables. I know – I’m a little obsessed. But this is what works for me. If on a rare chance vegetables don’t make it to the table, there’s usually my newest fruit obsession taking it’s place. 

So as we head into the new year, rethink your breakfast. And it’s okay to indulge. Every once in awhile. Save it for a special occasion. I do. Of course my indulgence may still have a side of broccoli.

What do you eat for breakfast?

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Source: Breakfast: Most Important Meal of the Day? Erin Dishes