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People who skip breakfast have greater hyperactivity, irritability, and anxiety; more disruptive classroom behavior; more tardiness; and a decreased ability to concentrate and solve problems. Eating breakfast has many benefits. It reduces fatigue and sleepiness in the mid-morning hours; helps banish away the blues; improves concentration, increases alertness, and helps one function more efficiently. Academic performance is generally better when breakfast is eaten. Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast are more likely to struggle with a weight problem. Calories eaten earlier in the day are more effectively utilized than those consumed late in the day. Eating a good breakfast generally improves the overall diet of a person. Those skipping breakfast are more likely to snack throughout the day.
Keep healthful snacks on hand so if hunger strikes during a late night study session, the child won't be tempted by vending machine candy, chips, or ice cream. Possibilities include fresh or dried fruit, unbuttered popcorn, rice cakes or whole wheat cracker. Consider keeping raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip.
Eat plenty of foods that are rich in calcium. People in their early twenties need to be build up stores of calcium in their bodies to prevent osteoporosis in later life. If you don't like milk, try to include ample amounts of low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
It's actually easier than you think to make good choices at a fast-food restaurant, the mall, or even the school cafeteria. Most cafeterias and fast-food places offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. Be mindful of portion sizes and high fat add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese.
Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:
Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (like fish, chicken, or beans if you're a vegetarian), fruits and vegetables (fries and potato chips don't qualify as veggies!), and whole-grains (like whole wheat bread and brown rice). That's why a chicken sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of foods have increased over the past few decades so that we are now eating way more than we need. Drink water or low-fat milk. Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.
The suggestions for eating in a restaurant and at the mall apply to cafeteria food as well. Add vegetables and fruit whenever possible, and opt for leaner, lighter items. Choose sandwiches on whole-grain bread or a plain hamburger over fried foods or pizza. Go easy on the high-fat, low-nutrition items, such as mayonnaise and heavy salad dressings.
You might want to consider packing your own lunch occasionally. Here are some lunch items that pack a healthy punch:
sandwiches with lean meats or fish, like turkey, chicken, tuna (made with low-fat mayo), lean ham, or lean roast beef. For variety, try other sources of protein, like peanut butter, hummus, or meatless chili.
low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, or cheese
any fruit that's in season
raw baby carrots, green and red pepper strips, tomatoes, or cucumbers
whole-grain breads, pita, bagels, or crackers
It can be easy to eat well, even on the run. If you develop the skills to make healthy choices now, your body will thank you later. And the good news is you don't have to eat perfectly all the time. It's OK to splurge every once in a while, as long as your food choices are generally good.
While eating Pizzas choose pizzas with thin crusts and go easy on the cheese and extra meat toppings.
Opting for low fat alternatives to traditional fast food such as a salad, baked potato and grilled chicken salad is another good step towards building good healthy food habits.
Macoroni and cheese, 1 cup has 380 calories. Opt for a whole wheat pasta (1 cup) tossed with olive oil (1 tsp) and garlic (1 clove), 214 calories. This option gives you more fiber and makes a heart healthy pick.