What if break­fast didn’t ex­ist?

We’d be an un­healthy and lethar­gic na­tion if we don’t start our morn­ings right.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAM­ILY -

“BREAK­FAST is good for you”... You must have heard this be­fore. It’s usu­ally our moth­ers who re­mind us to have break­fast be­fore we rush off to school. Or per­haps it was our teach­ers preach­ing to us the im­por­tance of start­ing our day right with break­fast while ex­plain­ing about nutri­tion with an il­lustration of the food pyra­mid.

Maybe some of us stopped lis­ten­ing af­ter awhile. But their ad­vice on the im­por­tance of break­fast is based on solid facts.

So, here’s food for thought ( pun in­tended) – what if break­fast never ex­isted?

Here are some likely out­comes.

In Sport Nutri­tion: An In­tro­duc­tion to En­ergy Pro­duc­tion and Per­for­mances, au­thors Asker Jeuk­endrup and Michael Glee­son wrote that we lose about 80% of our en­ergy re­serves dur­ing sleep. This may vary de­pend­ing on age, size, body fat, phys­i­cal fit­ness level and diet of the in­di­vid­ual

That is why break­fast is im­por­tant to re­fuel our body.

“It’s just like our phones. We need to recharge our bat­tery when the red light blinks. Our body works the same way. With­out re­plen­ish­ing the en­ergy re­serves lost overnight with a whole­some break­fast topped with­Milo, our sugar lev­els will drop re­sult­ing in re­duced cog­ni­tive and phys­i­cal ex­er­cise per­for­mance,” ex­plained Nestlé’s Cor­po­rate Well­ness Man­ager Cher Siew Wei.

An ideal break­fast pro­vides about 25% of our daily nu­tri­ent needs. That is why hav­ing a nu­tri­tious and bal­anced break­fast will give the body the en­ergy needed to reg­u­late in­ter­nal body con­di­tion ( such as body tem­per­a­ture, or­gan and mus­cle health) af­ter an overnight fast.

Ob­ser­va­tional stud­ies show that chil­dren be­low 12 years old who eat break­fast regularly have a higher level of phys­i­cal fit­ness, mus­cle power and bet­ter re­sults in dis­tinct mo­tor func­tion skills that al­low them to per­form par­tic­u­lar tasks.

Break­fast eaters above 12 years old, on the other hand, do bet­ter in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and car­dio res­pi­ra­tory fit­ness such as walk­ing for ex­er­cise or bike rid­ing.

With­out re­plen­ish­ing the en­ergy lost with a bal­anced break­fast, it is likely that our chil­dren ( and most adults) will avoid en­gag­ing in sports and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. They would be less ac­tive and more lethar­gic and, oh dear, should we even men­tion weight gain and health is­sues.

What’s more, stud­ies have high­lighted that chil­dren who drink malted drinks such as Milo are more likely to meet the Rec­om­mended Nu­tri­ent In­take ( RNI) for to­tal en­ergy in­take, pro­tein and other vi­ta­mins.

Break­fast skip­pers are prone to snack­ing and overeat­ing to sat­isfy hunger pangs. Eat break­fast regularly to avoid snack­ing as it could lead to weight gain and obe­sity.

“It is im­por­tant to eat the first meal of the day as early as pos­si­ble, ide­ally within an hour of wak­ing up and no later than 10am to ef­fec­tively re­plen­ish the en­ergy lost dur­ing sleep,” shared Cher.

Our chil­dren may be tempted to eat more than usual dur­ing lunch or nib­ble on high calo­ries snack foods to stave off hunger if they skipped break­fast, she added.

Meal­times are oc­ca­sions for us to bond and com­mu­ni­cate with our fam­ily. In to­day’s busy world, we of­ten over­look the fact that meal­times with the fam­ily are op­por­tu­ni­ties to bond.

Break­fast rit­u­als also pro­vide rou­tine and struc­ture that give the child a sense of stability and se­cu­rity which are im­por­tant for their devel­op­ment.

With­out break­fast, there’s a lost win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with our chil­dren. Our morn­ings will only en­tail drag­ging our- selves out of bed, prep­ping for school or work and rush­ing out the door. Our com­mu­ni­ca­tion may then only boil down to one- lin­ers, “Where’s your school bag?”

Don’t for­get that we tend to get cranky when we are hun­gry. Imag­ine a world filled with tired, cranky, and im­pa­tient peo­ple – def­i­nitely no one would Own their Day.

With this grim view of a world with­out break­fast, per­haps we will learn to ap­pre­ci­ate this morn­ing meal more.

Let us be in­spired to con­tinue this habit of hav­ing healthy ( and happy) break­fast with our fam­ily and friends.

So, go ahead and savour that crunchy bite of toast with the good­ness of Milo to en­er­gise and Own the Day!

Keep a look out for more in­for­ma­tion on break­fast and up­com­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the MILO ® Break­fast Move­ment, at www. milo. com. my/ break­fast

This story was brought to you by Nes­tle Milo.

Stud­ies show that chil­dren who skip break­fast tend to be tired and lethar­gic through­out the day.

Why skip break­fast when you can have de­li­cious food like nasi lemak.

The way to a healthy na­tion is to have a bal­anced diet to keep the weight down.

— Photos: Milo Stock Photos

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