You have heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As you sleep all night, you are fasting from food. When you wake up in the morning, your body is in need of essential fuel to get going. However, mornings can be rough and chaotic, and large, healthy breakfasts seem almost impossible.

September is All-American Breakfast Month. This month-long event encourages individuals to avoid skipping this crucial meal and enjoy a healthy breakfast. Here are 4 reasons you and your family should take time to eat breakfast each day.

1. Boosts your energy

A healthy breakfast can provide all of the nutrients and minerals your body needs to fuel it. Avoid eating breakfast filled with sugar. Shortly after eating, your body will experience a sugar crash, and you may begin to feel sleepy and tired.

Also, when you consider skipping breakfast, remember that you haven't eaten for several hours and you most likely won't eat for several more. Just like with a car, your body needs to be fueled on a regular basis to run efficiently. If it isn't, you will run out of gas pretty quick.

2. Helps you lose weight

Studies show that skipping breakfast is actually one factor contributing to obesity. Without a proper breakfast each morning, many individuals begin to snack throughout the day or they eat a much larger lunch and consume more calories than is advised. Also, skipping breakfast may begin a habit of skipping many more meals. When your body doesn't get enough food, it enters a starvation mode, and you actually hold onto body fat because your body doesn't know when it is going to be fed again.

3. Improves your brain performance

Eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to better test scores, higher grades and better classroom behavior in children and teenagers. Eating a healthy breakfast also helps improve your concentration, memory and your willingness to learn. However, once again the key is to eat a healthy breakfast. A quick sugar-coated pastry or a bowl of sugary cereal will not have the same benefits as a breakfast high in protein and complex carbohydrates.

4. Affects your mood

When you are hungry, do you ever notice that you are more angry and grumpy? Lack of food can have large effects on your mood, causing you to get angry more easily and much faster. It can also affect your attitude toward certain individuals and projects. When you eat breakfast, you may find yourself more motivated, determined and willing to accept projects and tasks as they come along. Plus, you will have the energy to accomplish them.

If you are not a breakfast eater or feel like there isn't enough time each morning to fix a healthy breakfast, you don't have to try too hard. There are several options for a healthy breakfast. Some ideas include:

  • Fruit and string cheese

  • Toast with peanut butter

  • Yogurt with almonds or oatmeal

  • Breakfast burrito or quesadilla

  • Fruit smoothie

The opportunities for making yourself a healthy breakfast are endless. If you need help eating a healthy breakfast each day, create a menu for breakfast. This helps you have a plan, the necessary ingredients to make it happen and prevents you from skipping the most important meal of the day.

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