LiveWell Northwest Colorado: Value your breakfast |

LiveWell Northwest Colorado: Value your breakfast

How many times have you heard it said that eating out costs too much? Most of the time, we are referring to money, but there are also nutritional and time costs to eating out. Let’s take a specific look at these costs using breakfast examples.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast improves your concentration and performance, reduces hunger throughout the day, results in making better food choices at other meals and helps sustain your energy throughout the day. Children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast miss fewer days of school.

Value menus offered at local fast food chains entice us to stop and pick up a quick breakfast. Compare for yourself the VALUE of a sausage, egg and cheese muffin purchased from a fast food chain versus one prepared at home.

• Fast food restaurant: English muffin, cheese, egg and sausage; 450 calories, 27 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs, 890 milligrams of sodium, cost $3.50*.

• Prepared at home: Whole grain English muffin, low fat cheese, egg, turkey sausage; 228 calories, 4.2 grams of fat, 30 grams of carbs, 850 milligrams of sodium, 99 cents*

Or how about the following scenario looking specifically at the food costs:

Breakfast for one at a fast food restaurant: oatmeal, $2.50*.

Breakfast for four at home: oatmeal, piece of fruit, $2.52*.

Breakfast, snack and lunch for one person at home: oatmeal, two pieces of fruit, mozzarella stick, peanut butter and jelly on whole grain, milk, carrot sticks, $2.48*.

Considering the time it takes you to drive to the restaurant and wait in the drive-thru line, that fast food breakfast might actually cost you more time than the five minutes it would have taken you to prepare the meal at home. Typically, fast food breakfast meals do not come with a serving of fruit or vegetable that is a critical component of a healthy breakfast.

So, whether you compare price, time or nutrition, eating a healthy breakfast at home wins hands down.

*Please note that all costs are approximate.

Barb Parnell, is coordinator for LiveWell Northwest Colorado.

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