Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day for everyone, or at least the old saying goes.
But everyone's morning is not the same.
Here's a breakdown of the best bets for morning meals:
The dorm dweller: Even a college kid without so much as a mini-fridge has a few options, says Staci Hendrickson, dietitian and owner of Healthy Balance, 535 Gateway Drive. Her suggestions? Stuff with a shelf life. She recommends keeping a loaf of bread and peanut butter in the room for peanut butter sandwiches, or choosing a breakfast bar that's low in sugar and high in fiber. For the students with a fridge, she recommends high-fiber cereal with milk or pre-made yogurt drinks.
The tiny tot: Worried your little one won't make it to snack time? Avoid sweetened cereals, says Gina Fisch, a registered nurse and owner of Perfect Balance Weight Management Center, 4500 Bob Billings Drive. Already have kids hooked on the equivalent of puffs o'sugar? Wean them off. "Buy a sugary cereal and a whole-grain cereal, mix the two, until you get to the point where the healthy one is not that bad (tasting) for them," Fisch says. "They get accustomed to taste."
The on-the-go workaholic: For the person rushing out the door, Fisch recommends a smoothie made of fruit, yogurt and milk, which can be made the night before or that morning. For those with even less time, Hendrickson suggests slapping something between two slices of whole-grain bread. "Just make yourself a peanut butter sandwich, or make yourself a ham sandwich," she says, noting the good combination of protein and carbs, as well as the portability a sandwich provides.
The desk jockey: If you know you might have to work through lunch, make sure to cover all your bases in the morning: fruit, protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates, says Hendrickson.
The recovering fast-food junkie: Fisch says these folks need something that will be quick, yet full of the taste they crave. Her solution? Egg sandwiches on a whole-grain English muffin. Taking the time to make your own will pay off in more than just diminished calories. "You know, when a latte costs you about 5 bucks, it's time to rethink what you're doing," Fisch says. You can get a gallon and half of gas for that."
¢ Staci Hendrickson, dietitian and owner of Healthy Balance, says a peanut butter sandwich is fast and easy in the morning. Compare the spread's nutrition labels and buy a brand lower in fat and calories. And that peanut butter should go on whole-wheat bread.
¢ Gina Fisch, a registered nurse and owner of Perfect Balance Weight Management Center, recommends mixing whole-grain cereal into the sugary brand kids prefer, gradually changing up the ratio until they're used to the healthy brand.
¢ Even kids who detest breakfast need at least a piece of fruit. Studies have shown that children who eat breakfast have better math grades and reading scores, better attention spans, keep their weight under control and have fewer stomach aches.