Hot or Cold Breakfast?

Every busy mother knows that sometimes there simply is not enough time to prepare a hot breakfast. We have all been there. When it happens, it is so easy to pour a bowl of sugary cereal and call it a day. On occasion such a breakfast is not going to ruin your children’s health (or yours); but, as a regular diet, it is an unhealthy choice.

If you must eat cereal, at least choose those that are not completely loaded with sugar such as Grape Nuts or Shredded Wheat. And . . . also be sure to add some fresh fruit and/or raw chopped nuts into the mix.

I have written numerous times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and you probably agree with me – at least on some level. Which brings up the question – which is better a hot or cold breakfast?

Bowl of hot oatmeal breakfast cereal with fresh berries

Image by elenaphoto

There is a recent study which supports the theory that children who eat cereal each day are actually less likely to develop obesity than those who eat a hot breakfast. But, can you trust one report when there are many others that indicate cold cereal is not be the best choice.

The most important point is to ensure that your child (and you) eat something (hot or cold) – preferably something healthy. There are many reliable studies that indicate children who skip breakfast are more likely to become overweight and obese than those who eat breakfast – plus breakfast is critical to the cognitive development and learning abilities of children, as well.

Let’s take a quick look at both:

Cold Breakfast

  • In the heat of summer, a good whole grain cereal with cold milk can taste great.
  • Some cereals contain a good source of vitamins and fiber. However, the big challenge is to find a cold cereal that is NOT loaded with sugar.
  • On the plus side, whole grain cereals have less fat than a ‘traditional’ hot breakfast of bacon and eggs.
  • Some nutritionists recommend alternating cold whole grain cereals with the more traditional breakfast of bacon and eggs. This can help control weight as well as possibly reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease when the sugar content is kept to a minimum.
  • There are many choices of cereal so be extremely careful about the ones you purchase for your family.

Hot Breakfast

  • Hot breakfasts are a great choice on cold days. They help warm the body as well as provide the energy needed to get through the morning.
  • Most hot  breakfast meals will have limited amounts of sugar or at least give you the option of controlling how much sugar is consumed because they are primarily prepared from scratch rather than poured from a box.
  • Hot cereals such as oatmeal also give you the option of adding other healthy ingredients you typically do not get in packaged cold cereals.

The bottom line in this debate is that everyone should eat breakfast – children, teens, and adults (and I am not talking about coffee and doughnuts).

The principles of good nutrition should be considered regardless of whether you are choosing hot or cold breakfast foods. Low or no sugar, controlled fat intake, and nutrient-filled foods – preferably dishes prepared from scratch will keep you in the healthy zone.

Make good decisions for your family when planning any meal and ensure longer, healthier lives.


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