There is no better time to celebrate our favorite morning meal than during the entire month of September because it’s Better Breakfast Month! It’s that time of year when kids are heading back to school, mornings are a blurred rush, and breakfast kicks-off a busy day of work and activities.
Breakfast has many health benefits. Eating a regular morning meal helps control weight and can guide us towards eating healthier meals regularly throughout the day. For kids, it’s critical to having them start their day with the proper nutrition for energy. Medical studies have proven that eating a morning meal that includes complex carbohydrates, along with fruit or vegetables and protein, ensures you’ll be at peak performance for the first part of your day.
How did breakfast originate? Believe it or not, it wasn’t always considered a good thing to eat an early morning meal. The word ‘breakfast’ first appeared in written English in the 15th century; it literally means to ‘break’ a ‘fast’ (i.e., the fasting period of the night before).
Fast forward to Europe in the early Middle Ages and breakfast was considered unnecessary and was virtually non-existent. In fact, many people were ashamed to eat a morning meal because it was consider a sign of gluttony. Only two formal meals were consumed daily—the first at midday and the other in the evening. Breakfast — a basic meal, often consisting of nothing more than bread and ale — was only eaten when absolutely necessary. It was a ritual reserved for early risers (like travelers and monks), manual workers (men who harvested the fields) or the ‘weak’ (children and the elderly).
By the 16th century, that had all changed. Breakfast became the norm rather than the exception. This change was in large part due to patterns of employment. In the earlier Middle Ages, the majority of workers were not classically ‘employed’ and could organize their own time. However, in the 16th century, men started to work fixed hours. As a result, both lunch and supper were served later, and a solid breakfast was needed to keep them going. Since then, breakfast has become a staple of everyday life, not just in Europe but across the globe.
Better Breakfast Month originated during World War I. The United States government encouraged citizens to eat a “Better Breakfast.” The program gained momentum again during World War II. Then, in 1951, the Cereal Institute promoted Better Breakfast Month for the first time in September. They selected the month to coordinate with children returning to school and businesses gearing back up after the lull of summer vacation. As a result, September became the ideal time to promote the benefits of a healthful and delicious breakfast.
Now, breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day! And what is breakfast without some delicious, healthy and nutritious Sunbeam bread! Rich in wholesome-packed goodness, Sunbeam bread gives our bodies energy to get our day started the right way. Kids who have a healthy meal before school starts consistently perform and behave better at school. So set a time aside for the family to grab a quick bite to eat before everyone heads out the door. Having breakfast as a family every morning to talk about daily plans and promotes healthy eating. Breakfast is essential, but don’t skip the fun of preparing breakfast with your kids!