What are some small meals for breakfast

Three or Five: How Much Meals Are Healthy?

With verve and vigor through the day, this works best with a balanced diet. But how do you best fill your energy reserves throughout the day without increasing your body weight? Five meals - or better just three? Nothing at all in the evening? And how important is breakfast?

How many meals are optimal?

“There are no fixed rules,” says Margret Morlo from the Association for Nutrition and Dietetics (VFED). For example, everyone should consider for themselves whether they can get through the day better with three or five meals. This is also how the German Nutrition Society (DGE) sees it. "One day's energy balance is decisive for the development of body weight," explains DGE spokeswoman Antje Gahl. It's different with children. "Five meals are suitable for them because they have a lively metabolism," says Yvonne Knips from the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center. In addition, children's stomachs are smaller. Therefore, they cannot get the nutritional energy they need from just three large meals.

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Snacks between meals: nuts and raw vegetables against cravings

In principle, snacks between meals are also a good idea for adults. Because they offer an opportunity to snack on nuts or raw vegetables. "This rounds off a wholesome diet and makes it easier to implement the recommendation of five servings of fruit and vegetables every day," explains Knips.

Breakfast is before the first snack. It ends the longest fasting period of the day: the mostly food-free time at night, which usually lasts 10 to 14 hours. If breakfast is canceled, the fasting period is extended accordingly. "This can be particularly critical for children, as they are constantly active and need enough power to learn, play and move around," says Knips.

Adults don't have to force themselves to eat breakfast if they don't have an appetite in the morning. “There is no such thing as an optimal eating rhythm for everyone,” emphasizes Gahl. However, the DGE recommends eating at least one meal in the morning.

And Morlo also advises not to go out of the house completely sober in the morning. Otherwise there is a risk of lack of concentration or low performance. “At least yogurt should be eaten or a glass of juice drunk,” she says.

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Breakfast: a great way to start the day

The larger first meal of the day, which is eaten either at home or on the go in the morning, can be put together as desired. "If you like something sweet, you can eat jam or honey on your bread or rolls," says Morlo. If that's not for you, you can use cheese or cold cuts. Whole grain flakes or unsweetened muesli, some yoghurt and fruit are also a good breakfast option from Gahl's point of view.

A warm meal a day is not absolutely necessary. But what speaks for it: “The preparation and cooking favor a diverse selection of foods,” explains Knips. It does not matter whether you eat warm at lunchtime or in the evening. Either potatoes or pasta should be on the menu. The same applies to legumes, vegetables or lettuce. Two to three times a week it can also be meat, sea fish at least once a week and an egg two to three times a week.

Dessert is not a must, but it can round off the meal. Fruit is an ideal dessert, as is curd cheese or yogurt. “You shouldn't eat too large amounts at lunchtime,” advises Morlo. Because that makes you tired and sleepy - it is difficult to continue working or doing homework.

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Afternoon appetite: small snacks bring energy

Are you hungry for something sweet in the afternoon? "Then it can be a piece of cake", says Morlo. Eaten in small quantities and with pleasure, this does not have a negative effect on the figure. If you want to replenish your energy stores, you can also consume whole grain products or fruit. And if you have only eaten a small amount of dairy products in the course of the day, you can do so now.

"Tasty snacks can be rice pudding with hot cherries or whole grain waffles," says Knips. The desire for sweets can also be satisfied with sweet fruit, raisins or other dried fruits - it doesn't always have to be pastries and chocolate.

In the evening the activity of the metabolism in the body decreases. That means: At dinner you should eat smaller amounts in order to avoid obesity. “That goes for everyone who sits in front of the TV after dinner or goes straight to bed,” explains Morlo. Those who still move around and take a walk, for example, are allowed to eat a little more.

Healthy lifestyle: don't forget to exercise

In addition to diet, physical activities are important anyway - and they are best distributed throughout the day. That means, for example: walking to the bakery in the morning, climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator and maybe getting off the bus one stop earlier on the way home. But that alone is not enough. "Everyone should work up a sweat at least once a week while exercising," says Knips.

A good and balanced diet is more difficult for everyone who works in shifts and especially in the night shift. Because the unfamiliar, constantly changing rhythm of waking and sleeping, sober and full, upsets the internal clock. This can result in digestive problems, and a lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain. Morlo therefore advises professional nutritional advice in such cases.

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From RND / dpa