The Benefits of Eating Breakfast at Dinner
After a busy day at work followed by a hectic commute, the last thing you want to do when you get home is spend another 45 minutes in the kitchen fixing dinner. Before calling your favorite takeout place for a rescue, think breakfast at dinner – a quick, inexpensive and nutritious dinner could be just an egg carton away.
“Eating a light breakfast at dinner instead of the traditional dinnertime fare such as pasta, meat and potatoes is beneficial for a number of reasons,” explains Natalie A. Nevins, DO, a board-certified family physician in Hollywood, California. “The ingredients in breakfast foods are often less expensive, quicker to prepare, and, most importantly, lower in calories.”
Breakfast at dinner options such as omelets and oatmeal are nutritious, cost-effective and easy to make.
Dr. Nevins says many of her patients skip breakfast, are starving by lunchtime, and then wait six or seven hours before dinner, when they tend to overeat. “Consuming so much of your daily calories just before you lie down for bed is bad for digestion,” says Dr. Nevins.
The better option is to keep yourself satisfied throughout the day by eating healthy snacks between meals. “By dinnertime, all a person will require is something light. Breakfast foods like oatmeal with nuts, fruit or green smoothies and omelets can be great dinner options,” says Dr. Nevins.
What’s (for Breakfast) for Dinner?
Omelets are quick and easy dinnertime meals that enable people to get in all the nutrients they need at once, rather than preparing three separate components of a dinner. Dr. Nevins suggests sautéing some vegetables, like mushrooms, spinach and broccoli, and adding the chopped vegetables to a mixture of one egg white with one egg with yolk (a lower cholesterol alternative to using two eggs with yolk) and low-fat or no-dairy cheese. Top with some salsa and avocado.
A veggie omelet topped with salsa and avocado offers plenty of nutrients in one dish.
“Instead of potatoes, serve fruit, or if you want the potatoes, bake instead of fry. Only dish out half a serving,” instructs Dr. Nevins.
Another fast breakfast at dinner option is making a smoothie. Dr. Nevins suggests this recipe for a healthy smoothie: combine half a banana with one-fourth cup of blueberries, a scoop of protein mix, milk or non-dairy alternatives such as almond or soy milk, and some peach slices.
“In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether you are eating breakfast foods or dinner foods at night, as long as you’re watching your portion sizes and the nutritional content is balanced,” adds Dr. Nevins.