Begin the year with better breakfasts.
The wonders of breakfast have been touted by every major food-related organization in the world.
Studies demonstrate that hungry children do not learn as well as their well-nourished counterparts.
Other studies show that dieters are most successful when they eat a good breakfast.
If you work out in the morning, you need to follow up with high carbohydrate foods within two hours to replace your muscles' energy stores.
Three hundred to 400 calories worth of good food choices is a great beginning for your day.
Breakfast is an ideal place to start with mini-resolutions that are easy to keep and to build on throughout the year.
Breakfast is an easy meal to de-fat.
Limit eggs and breakfast meats to one day a week. Poach the eggs, or "fry" using cooking spray in a non-stick pan. Switch from bacon and sausage to Canadian bacon. Spread your toast with apple or pear butter, instead of butter or margarine.
Breakfast is a great place to increase whole grain cereal foods. We need six to 11 half-cup servings each day to get enough fiber and B vitamins for good health.
Instead of all those egg-and-meat breakfasts, switch to cereal and toast.
Hot cereals like oatmeal, farina and cream of wheat or rice are great for cold winter mornings. Cold cereal fans will find increasing options on single- and multiple-grain flake and muesli-type cereals.
"Toast" can include all varieties of whole wheat and mixed grain bread, English muffins, bagels, pita pockets, waffles and pancakes.
Breakfast is an easy place to get some of your two to four fruits for the day. Juice is OK, but you get more fiber if you eat the whole fruit. So try an orange, tangelo, tangerine or grapefruit-half for a burst of vitamin C. Add a banana, some raisins, pitted prunes or chopped apricots to your hot or cold cereal. Munch an apple or fresh pear on your way to work or school. Occasionally, try a kiwi fruit, star fruit or fresh melon for variety.
Breakfast is also the ideal place to work in a dairy food. Adults need at least two servings each day. Adolescents need four. Eight ounces of skim milk, 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt each count as one serving.
As the Rev. Andrew Greeley, author and sociologist, says, "We're given second chances every day of our life. We don't usually take them, but they're there for the taking."
It's a new year. Resolve to start each morning with one or two good food choices. Even if you wobble during the day, you're still making progress.
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore and director of Eating Together in Baltimore