Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day for a reason: People who regularly eat a healthy, balanced breakfast tend to concentrate better and get more physical activity than those who skip it. Breakfast eaters also have an easier time managing their weight and have good cholesterol levels.

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Take a bite out of the habit of skipping breakfast with these strategies:

  1. Get into the habit. Start with grabbing just a piece of fruit as you walk out the door. Gradually include other food groups.
  2. Curb your sweet tooth the healthy way. Try making French toast using whole-grain bread dipped in a batter made of egg whites or an egg substitute, a pinch of cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract. Fry in a nonstick skillet or use a cooking spray. Top with thinly sliced apples, unsweetened applesauce, berries or sliced banana for sweetness.
  3. Prepare in advance. If you’re rushed in the morning, set the table the night before with bowls and spoons for cereal or slice some fruit ahead of time and place your smoothie blender out on the counter. Keep easy favorites such as hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit, instant whole-grain oatmeal and low-fat yogurt on hand.
  4. Think out of the (cereal) box. Don’t limit yourself to traditional breakfast foods. Leftover vegetable pizza or a turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread can make a healthy breakfast.
  5. Take it with you. If there’s no time to eat breakfast at home, pack a brown-bag breakfast or grab a banana and take it with you.
  6. Split it up. If you’re not hungry first thing in the morning, eat a slice of whole-wheat toast or drink a glass of 100 percent fruit juice. Later, eat a healthy mid-morning snack.
  7. Change gradually. Have breakfast on two mornings at first, and three mornings a little later. Your eventual goal is to eat breakfast every day.

Whenever you’re tempted to skip your morning meal, just remember that a good breakfast also helps keep you from becoming ravenously hungry later in the day, so you won’t eat as much.