By: Dana Bacardi

After about a week of making a real effort to eat something in the morning (instead of skipping it to save calories, like I had been doing), my body has become conditioned to having breakfast every single day. I was actually surprised by how quickly I adjusted, and I’m happy to say it really has become a habit for me.

My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is a piece of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter. I usually have the ingredients out from making the kids lunch already, so I just take an extra slice out and put it in the toaster. It pops up, I spread a little peanut butter on it and eat it warm. Yum!

I usually have a glass of orange juice with the peanut-butter toast for some vitamin C, too. If I am running late, I try to at least grab a banana. I also stock up on high-fiber granola bars (even my kids like those!). I put some in the kids’ lunch boxes and take one on the road to enjoy with my coffee on the way to work. (By the way, I still love my Fat-Free French Vanilla Coffee-mate in my morning java, though I haven't tried it in the oatmeal yet. It feels so taboo!)

I haven’t just changed my habits, my entire family now enjoys the upgraded cereals we have in our cupboards, and everyone (including my husband) likes to grab a quick bowl in the morning—sometimes with a little fruit on top. We put cereal, milk, bowls, and some fruit out on the island counter for self-service breakfast. I make sure our new fruit bowl (which I always keep stocked) is in a convenient location—on the kitchen counter—so that we can all eat more fruit throughout the day, too.

Immediately after I started eating breakfast, I began to notice that I had more energy throughout the morning. When I only drink coffee in the mornings, I am really hungry by 10, which would sometimes force me to eat an early lunch. Now, I usually get hungry around 12 or 1. By eating lunch later, I don’t have to eat again until dinner, and I avoid the after school "pre-dinner dinner" that I would sometimes scarf down around 3 p.m. Also, by eating breakfast, my body feels like it's ready to roll and tackle the day’s events. I even think I’m losing a little weight by really planning and thinking about what foods I’m putting into my body.

Thank you for the great advice, Cooking Light! I don't think I'll ever intentionally skip breakfast again. My mom used to always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—she was so right!