A Balanced BreakfastMarch 19, 2012
Have you ever heard a food company use the phrase "part of a balanced breakfast"? I don't think I'm alone in wondering how Reese's Pieces could truly be an ideal start to your day.
Fun fact: Reeses Puffs cereal are 30% sugar by weight, yet the box advertises "WHOLE GRAIN" in large letters across the front. No wonder we're so confused about how to buy truly healthful food.
A "balanced breakfast" should contain at least three of the five following food groups: dairy, protein, fruit, vegetables, and grains. For a sugary cereal to qualify as a "balanced" breakfast, all one would need to add is a cup of orange juice.
Yet numerous sources, including the USDA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, say that this balance should actually tilt towards carbohydrates heavy in fiber, as well as equal parts protein and fat.
Try a local breakfast to fulfill these nutrition groups: to start, you can purchase breakfast meats from Bluescreek Farms in the North Market. And while you're there, grab some dairy from Snowville Creamery at The Greener Grocer.
And of course, local eggs are available at farmers markets, local stores like The Greener Grocer and the Clintonville Co-op, or from your backyard chicken coop!
And as for fruits and vegetables, you don't have to look any further than your own garden! But if you're unable to grow food at home, check out the nearest farmers market.
Instead of a boxed cereal, experiment with making your own granola—you can purchasing the separate parts in bulk, saving up to 89%. Or you can buy locally-made granola from Simply Good, who sells at farmers markets around town.
Starting with a (truly) balanced breakfast will keep you healthy and help you manage your calorie intake throughout the day. And it's true: those who eat breakfast tend to consume less calories on average. Eating local for breakfast is a great way to foster healthy decisions for the rest of your day.