Why it is good to have breakfast
Breakfast should represent about 25 % of your daily energy intake. It should consist of complex carbohydrates, protein (in the morning, ideally from dairy products) and fruit and vegetables. Remember to drink enough suitable liquids. A sufficient breakfast provides energy for physical and mental activity during the morning – the body receives the required nutrients after a night of fasting. Extending the fasting until a snack or even lunch times leads to fatigue, impaired concentration and decreased academic performance while also contributing to overweight and obesity (particularly when filling up in the evening hours). If having breakfast is really a problem for you, at least try milk or a diluted fruit drink and make up for the missing energy and nutrients with a healthy mid-morning snack.
A proper snack consists of fresh fruit or vegetables, liquids and for instance, a wholegrain slice of bread with good quality cheese or lean ham or homemade spread. Dairy products can also be a good choice. Sweet snacks should be an exception while the afternoon snack should be similar. Each snack should represent 10-15 % of your daily energy intake. Lunch should be the source of 30-35 % of your daily energy intake. It should provide all kinds of nutrients – so it should therefore consist of a side dish (a source of carbohydrate), protein foods and fruit (as part of the meal or as a desert) or vegetables (in the form of a garnish or salad). Lunch should also provide good-quality fats. Even during your lunch you should not forget to drink plenty of liquids (soup or a drink, preferably both). Dinner should provide us with 15-20 % of our energy intake. It does not have to be warm, but it is important that it includes quality protein (lean meat, fish, pulses, eggs and dairy products), wholegrain bread or another side dish and let’s not forget about vegetables. Catching up on an inadequate energy intake in the evening leads to obesity and poor quality of sleep.