The Importance of Breakfast for the Elderly (6 Reasons Not to Skip)

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
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It is important for the elderly to eat breakfast because it keeps the brain and body fueled, balances blood sugar, reduces obesity, and affects medication metabolism.

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day all over the world because it starts off our metabolism and helps us to concentrate during the day.

It is important that elderly people eat breakfast, as most of them are not really hungry in the morning. By giving them small portions of nutritious foods, we can ensure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals and will live a healthy life.

Healthy Breakfast Promotes Healthy Living For Elderly Citizens

The benefits of having breakfast for the elderly include:

Breakfast Keeps the Brain Fueled

There are many benefits to having a good breakfast, one of which is that it keeps the brain fueled.

A study published in the journal Neurology found that people who ate breakfast were more likely to have better mental function than those who didn’t. According to the study’s lead author, this is because breakfast helps “reset” the brain and give it a boost for the day.

Enjoying a healthy breakfast also improves the processing speed of the brain in general. Eating something as simple as oatmeal or an egg vegetable omelet, they are likely to be attentive, coordinate activities. 

Breakfast Keeps The Body Energized Throughout the Day

A study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that people who had breakfast were more likely to have a healthy weight and be physically active than those who skipped breakfast.

The researchers believe that having breakfast helps keep the body energized throughout the day, which can help with weight loss and overall health.

The elderly need to have a nutritious breakfast rich in vitamins, proteins, healthy fat and fiber. They will be less fatigued both physically and mentally as they carry on with day to day tasks.

Breakfast Balances Blood Sugar and Promotes Health

Breakfast balances blood sugar levels and promotes overall health. Skipping breakfast can lead to increased blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing diabetes. This, in turn, can lead to weight gain, decreased energy levels, and a decreased ability to focus.

Breakfast Promotes Healthy Eating All Day

When seniors eat a healthy and nutritious balanced diet during breakfast, they are able to pick the right choice of foods during other meals.

Because they are starting the day with a healthy breakfast, they are less likely to snack or grab an unhealthy item in a hurry.

This solves the problem of over-eating and snacking on foods high in calories but they can choose to have fruits and vegetables.

Breakfast Reduces the Risk of Obesity

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate breakfast were 23% less likely to be obese than those who didn’t. The study also found that people who ate breakfast every day were 33% less likely to be obese than those who skipped it.

Once the elderly have a healthy and nutritious breakfast, they typically make good choices on the foods to eat during the rest of the day. They also tend to eat less overall compared to seniors who skip breakfast.

Breakfast Helps Metabolize Medication

According to a study published in the journal “Appetite,” breakfast helps elderly patients metabolize medication more effectively. The research found that those who ate breakfast had a reduced risk of adverse events, such as falls and confusion, associated with taking medications.

Many medications come with side effects that can be bothersome. Breakfast may help reduce some of these side effects.

What Should Seniors Eat For Breakfast?

Here is how seniors and the elderly can start the day with a healthy breakfast:

  • Start your day with a nutritious breakfast that includes eggs, oatmeal, toast, or cereal.
  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your breakfast routine.
  • Consider adding protein to your breakfast choices, such as eggs, yogurt, or protein powder.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the morning to stay hydrated and energized all day long.

Why Do Seniors Skip Breakfast?

The reasons that seniors often choose to skip breakfast include:

  • They are too busy getting ready for the day.
  • They are not hungry in the morning and they don’t think that breakfast is important.
  • They are trying to cut back on their calories so they can lose weight or maintain their weight.
  • They don’t like the taste of breakfast foods and they believe that they will not be able to stomach them later in the day.

Healthy Breakfast Promotes Healthy Living For Seniors and the Elderly

It is important for the elderly to eat a nutritious breakfast every day, not just on special occasions. A balanced breakfast includes items such as cereal, toast, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon or sausage, yogurt and fruit.

We need to encourage the elderly to have breakfast to prevent malnutrition, ensure they are fully powered up for the day so they can carry out tasks with ease and ensure improved quality of life as a whole since health is wealth.

It is of utmost importance that elderly understand that blood sugar levels are low when they wake up and it is only a nutritious breakfast that can replenish this.

About the Expert

Because I strive to provide you with accurate information, I had this article fact-checked by Kathryn Bubeck, RD, LDN a registered dietician in North Carolina. She has dual bachelor degrees in Nutrition and Health Behavior Management and is currently pursuing a medical degree with a focus on oncology.

Sources:

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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