Eating breakfast may curb cravings for high-calorie lunches

Getting ready in the morning can be a huge commotion for anyone, but especially for parents. Not only are you probably trying to get ready for work, but you're attempting to get kids prepared for school and out the door. As hectic as it may be, it's essential that you remember to get everyone fed before taking off for the day. Breakfast may seem inconvenient during the hustle and bustle of the morning, but what you eat - or don't eat - can affect how you function for the rest of the day, as well as baby development in young kids. If you skip this meal, you may end up eating more and making less healthy food choices in the afternoon, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

Skipping breakfast may lead to unhealthy habits
British researchers looked at the MRI brain scans of 21 individuals who either did not eat breakfast or consumed a breakfast that was 750 calories. Participants were then served lunch. They discovered that those who skipped the morning meal had a specific pattern of activity in brain regions associated with pleasure and reward. In addition, when these individuals were shown a photograph of high-calorie food options, there was more activity in the brain, compared to the levels observed in participants who ate breakfast.

"Through both the participants' MRI results and observations of how much they ate at lunch, we found ample evidence that fasting made people hungrier, and increased the appeal of high-calorie foods and the amount people ate," said researcher Tony Goldstone, M.D.

Plan easy meals ahead of time that are easy to whip up in the morning
By eating breakfast, you may be more inclined to eat healthier at lunch time. Some easy and fast meals that you can quickly pull together - and your kids will love - before running out the door include a frozen waffle heated up with peanut butter and raisins, fruit smoothies, toast with ricotta and tomatoes, or an egg sandwich on an English muffin. You can always throw in a few almonds to add some extra protein and you've got an excellent morning meal. Getting lots of nutrients early is a great way to jump start your day.

What are some healthy breakfast options you like to make? Do you find that eating this meal helps you eat better at lunch time? Leave your answers in the comments section!