How do you start a typical school day? If you’re like most kids, you probably try to squeeze an extra 40 winks of sleep in after your parents tell you it’s time to get up. Once you’re up, though, it’s off to the races as you hurry to get showered, dressed and ready for the bus.

But what about something to eat? Do you wolf down a quick bowl of cereal? Heat up a hot bowl of oatmeal? Pop a couple of pastries into the toaster? Or do you sit down to a hot meal of pancakes, eggs and bacon?

That first meal of the day is more commonly known as breakfast. If you divide this compound word into two parts, you’ll see it’s made up of “break” and “fast.” To fast means to go without food. So “breakfast” means to break the fast you’ve been observing since you went to sleep the night before!

You’ve probably heard parents and teachers say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But is that true? And why would it be?

Doctors and nutrition experts generally agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you think about it, it just makes sense. After a long night of sleeping, your fuel tank is on empty. Like a car won’t run without gas, your body won’t function right without its fuel: food!

So what type of fuel should you use to get your body going in the morning? While it’s true that eating anything is better than going without any food at all, it’s a good idea to fuel your body with healthy foods to start the day.

For example, donuts and pastries are probably not the best breakfast foods to make a part of your regular morning routine. They’re certainly tasty, but they also tend to be high in sugars, fats and calories.

The best way to start your day is with a well-balanced breakfast that gives your body the nutrients it needs. Eating a wide variety of foods can help you achieve this balance.

A good breakfast throughout the week will include all sorts of different foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy products. Some common breakfast foods that you might consider are whole-grain cereals, toast, pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, milk, yogurt, oatmeal and fruits, like blueberries and strawberries.

Even if you’re in a hurry, it’s best not to skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast leaves you feeling tired and very hungry later. This often leads to overeating throughout the rest of the day, which can be unhealthy. Instead of skipping breakfast, grab something quick on the run, such as yogurt, a muffin or a piece of fresh fruit.

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    • Great work WONDERing, Kamron! We Wonder if you have a favorite breakfast dish? Thanks for sharing your SUPER guess for tomorrow’s Wonder… it’s going to be a ton of fun! :)

    • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day it gets you moving for the rest of the day. After breakfast you got all the energy to keep going for a long time! Breakfast is the best part about mornings after a breakfast you’re ready to go. After a long rest of sleep and waking up in the morning breakfast is there and ready to eat and start your day.

    • You are correct Kamron. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It breaks the fasting and keeps you going. My mom says it’s the best meal of the day.

      • Thanks again for WONDERing, Zach! We love when our Wonder Friends connect! Be sure to give your mom a high five from us – she’s right, it’s the most important meal of the day! :)

    • We bet you’ll have a SUPER time learning about breakfast with our Wonder today, Sarah! We hope you’ll check out the cool video, too! :)

    • YUM, we’re so glad that your give breakfast a thumbs-up, Junior! We think it’s one of the best ways to start your day! :)

    • Yippee, our Wonder Friend Bryleigh is here today! We think breakfast at your house sounds delicious! Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  1. I really like the video because the guy paints his breakfast. It is really cool. My favorite breakfast is pancakes and eggs with OJ, or a big bowl of cereal. Thanks!!

    =Berkleigh=

    • Hello there, Berkleigh! We’re all smiles today as we Wonder with you about that tasty meal: breakfast! We are getting hungry just thinking about eggs and a glass of orange juice– YUM! Thanks for joining the WONDERful fun today! :)

  2. I have 2 different breakfasts, 1 on Mondays-Fridays, the 2nd is Saturdays-Sundays. First breakfast is like a snack you eat on your breaks with orange juice, but it’s my breakfast and I like it. The second breakfast has pancakes, scrambled eggs, cheese, and chocolate milk. :-D :-)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friend Carlos! We are thrilled that you shared your two awesome breakfast menus with us! We know that sometimes we’re in a hurry in the morning, so it’s very important that you are getting a good breakfast in the morning, like your orange juice and snack. Nice work! We wish we could visit your house for breakfast one morning– it would be lots of fun! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. I love, love, love eating breakfast.
    If I go at least one day without eating breakfast its like there’s an empty hole inside my stomach. I just love having breakfast on Sundays and Saturdays because my mom cooks scrambled eggs, sausage, and sometimes pancakes or waffles mostly waffles.
    – Sincerely, Danielle

    • YUM, Danielle! You’re making us hungry with that delicious menu of breakfast items! We think your house must smell delicious when you wake up to a breakfast like that! Thanks for joining us as we Wonder today– we’re so glad you are here! :)

    • We think that’s a fun way to switch it up, Bianca! It’s a meal so nice that it’s fun to enjoy it for dinner once in a while! :)

  4. I love breakfast if I do not eat it I will be very tired. It is my life having brngakfast and thank you for having this website. It is fantastic, the wonders and everything, I love wonderopolis it is awesome.

    • YUM, Wonder Friend awesomeness! We think you’re right– it’s important to start your day out right with a healthy breakfast! We are so happy that you enjoy visiting Wonderopolis– we’re glad you’re here! Thanks for being a super WONDERer! :)

    • Thanks for sharing your comment, Monnie! We’re glad that our breakfast Wonder made you smile! :)

      We respect and appreciate all our Wonder Friends here at Wonderopolis and we are happy to respond to all comments! We want to provide a safe, kind and welcoming environment for all our Wonder Friends to enjoy and Wonder! :)

  5. Is it bad that I don’t eat breakfast? I never eat breakfast. It’s not that I don’t have time or anything, it’s just I just don’t think to eat.

    • Hi there, Gina M.! We know that everyone’s bodies have certain ways of working– for some, breakfast is a necessity, for others, it might not be a big deal. Generally, doctors recommend starting the day off with breakfast– it can help you get through the day by providing your body with enough calories, or energy. However, we Wonder if you and a parent can plan out certain breakfast items that you might enjoy and you can try starting your day out with a small breakfast! :)

    • We think your kids are on to something, Carmen D! We think that breakfast is a WONDERful time to celebrate a new day! :) Thanks for sharing your comment with us– we can hardly wait to feast tomorrow morning! We’ll be thinking of our clever Wonder Friends! :)

    • YUM, we’re glad you agree, Austyn! Thanks for sharing your comment with us– we’re so happy you’ve learned something new! :)

  6. B.R.E.A.K.F.A.S.T. B is for breakfast! R is for breakfast! E is for breakfast! A is for breakfast! K is for breakfast! F is for breakfast! A is for breakfast! S is for breakfast! And T is for… BELLYBUTTON!!!!!! I think breakfast rocks! Just like-pigs!!

    P.S. This is from PigPunk

    • We really like your breakfast cheer! Nice work, PigPunk! We’re so excited that you shared your enthusiasm with us! Keep up the great work! :)

  7. EVERYWHERE WE GOOO! PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW! WHO WE ARRRRRRE! SO WE TELL THEM! WE ARE BREAKFAST EATERS!!!!!! WE ARE BREKFAST EATERS!!! WE LOVE BREAKFAAAASSSSSTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!! IT’S GREEEEAAAATTTT!!!!!!!! By the way, I LOVE breakfast! Just as an FYI. Sing it with me again!
    EVERYWHERE WE GOOO! PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW! WHO WE ARRRRRRRE! SO WE TELL THEM! WE ARE BREAKFAST EARTERS!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!! :) :)

    • WOW, we are very impressed by your enthusiasm for breakfast, Supercalifragilisticexpealidotiously Amazing Cool Dude! :-)

      Thanks so much for sharing your cool song/chant/cheer for breakfast– we think it’s fun to get our energy from a great, healthy meal early in the day! :)

  8. We enjoyed the video of Danny Gregory and his breakfast art.
    We agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
    The bagels looked yummy and delicious. It made us hungry!

    • Alright, we’re excited our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Ehle’s Class are starting the day off right– with Wonderopolis and breakfast! :)

      We hope you all learned something new about our favorite meal of the day… our stomachs were rumbling after WONDERing about breakfast, too! :)

  9. I love breakfast :). I also loved the video. I never thought breakfast was so important. I probably should have woken up early today. I only had six minutes to eat. But most of the time, I always eat breakfast!!!

    • YUM, breakfast is the BEST, Kathy! We are so glad you reminded us of the importance of a healthy, balanced breakfast! What a great way to start the day! :)

  10. This is really cool I really didn’t know that breakfast meant to break the fast (fast means to not eat food for some time). It is really important to eat heathy foods. Your day will be slow and you may over eat food for the rest of the day. Sometimes I eat unhealthy foods for breakfast now I know not to.

    • How awesome that you have learned something new today, Charity! We LOVE breakfast– it’s a super way to start the day! Good thing you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to keep you going! :)

  11. That was a really cool video. I loved it. It was awesome. I know eating breakfast is really healthy for you. Sometimes I eat different food, like Vietnamese food. I never skipped breakfast. I thought that video was fascinating. I always eat breakfast.

    • Yum, we think it’s cool that you switch it up with different types of food, Briitney! Thanks for sharing your comment about breakfast with us, Wonder Friend! :)

    • That’s understandable, Emily C! Some of our Wonder Friends need a bit more time to get ready in the morning… but it’s important to start the day off right! When your stomach tells you it’s hungry, then you’ll know you’re ready for some breakfast! :)

  12. WONDERful! Sometimes I’m in a rush to school, so I never get anything or enough to eat, what should I do? And of most the time I feel like I’m starving, so I eat and eat and eat but I never get full… what’s goin on? :) ;)

    • We hope you will find some time to eat a healthy breakfast, Beka! Your body deserves the best! Perhaps you can lay your clothes out the night before (to save time in the morning), or you can pack a breakfast to eat while you travel to school!? :)

    • WOHOO, our Wonder Friend Mike is here today! We Wonder if you have ever heard of “a fast”– when you don’t eat for a certain period of time? When you break that fast, it’s called “breakfast”– the first meal of the day! You can read all about breakfast in our Wonder! :)

  13. The video was really cool A.G!!! I do think breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You should eat healthy food to start the day right. ;)

    • How cool, Arelys! We are so excited that you reminded us to eat a healthy meal in the morning- it’s the best way to start the day! Hooray for Wonder Friends like you! :)

  14. I especially like pancakes with BACON!!!! I also like bagels with cream cheese, they’re really good. When I think of it, breakfast is kind of different from lunch and dinner. When you eat breakfast there is a lot more sugar and grains than lunch and dinner.

    • YUM, Timmy N! Our stomachs are starting to growl here at Wonderopolis now! We’ve got a Wonder you’re REALLY going to enjoy: Wonder #696– How Do You Bring Home the Bacon? http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-you-bring-home-the-bacon/

      You can eat certain foods for breakfast, like eggs, fruit and even vegetables, to avoid all those sugary breakfast options. Grains are great, but in moderation! We Wonder what your favorite meal of the day is? :)

  15. I do like breakfast. But I skip it a lot because I am late for school. But I love it. Anyway why is it the most important time of the day? I love wonderopolis it is a great website. I might come back to this website.

    • Oh no, Breanna M! We sure hope you eat breakfast– even if it’s on the go– each and every day! We burn calories, even as we sleep, so eating food with calories and nutrients in the morning is the best way to start your day! :)

  16. Breakfast is good for you it keeps you balanced, awake, and gives you energy that helps you to do anything in the like play, run races, and makes you not tired. I liked that video, it taught me new things now I know breakfast is important.

    • Hey there, Matthew! You have done a great job of sharing the benefits of breakfast! We’re so glad you are WONDERing with us today! The word actually means to “break” a “fast”– or a time when you refrain from eating. While you sleep, you’re fasting. Once you’re up and eating breakfast, you’ve broken that fast! :)

  17. Playing and other things can keep your mind off food and playing can sometimes make you hungry. Answer back anytime. I loved the video it made me hungry. Sometimes I eat bacon and I put it on my biscuit.

    • Great point, Breanna M! We think that breakfast is a great way to start the day and give you energy for all the fun things you will do! Thanks for sharing your favorite breakfast treat, too! Bacon sounds yummy! :)

  18. sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo I loved your video it was good.

  19. I liked that video! The man did a lot of work. Is he a an artist? I’m going to check in a lot! I like this website! How many paintings has he done? Do you know him in person? What is name? I like breakfast, but my mom says I can’t have certain things. When my big brothers where little, they had ice cream for breakfast! But you can’t eat breafast stuff later. Also you can’t eat breakfast stuff in the afternoon. Speaking of breakfast it geting me hungry! BYE!!!!!!!!

  20. I didn’t know that breakfast meant to break the fast that you’ve been observing since you went to sleep the night before. And you can see what it means in the name breakfast.

    • Isn’t it interesting to learn about the origin of a word we use so often, Emmy? We’re glad that you learned something new about the meaning of breakfast. We hope you had some delicious breakfast this morning! :)

  21. Hi Wonderopolis!! We LOVE breakfast. Some of our favorite breakfast foods include: Toast with butter, cereal, oatmeal. Thank you for sharing what breakfast really means. What’s your favorite healthy breakfast food?

    Take Care!
    Miss Serritella’s Class

    • HOORAY for healthy eating! Thanks for sharing your comment with us today, Miss Serritella’s Class! What a great way to begin the day, with some delicious oatmeal or cereal! We like peanut butter on toast with a banana on the side! YUM! :)

      Thanks for sharing your WONDERful breakfast comment with us, we look forward to WONDERing with you again! :)

  22. I learned that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. I was amazed that breakfast actually has meaning. I want to know more about how breakfast got its name. I thought it was cool how they described why breakfast was the most important meal of the day.

    • Hey Bradford, we’re so glad you’re here today! Breakfast is very important and a great way to start the day. Thanks for telling us about what you learned from this tasty Wonder!

      What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? :)

  23. I learned that it’s not good to skip breakfast because it is unhealthy! I was surprised when I heard in the article that you shouldn’t just eat anything, you should have a full healthy meal with fruit! I want to know more about specifically why it’s called breakfast! It was a great video and a great article!

    • Hi Wonder Friend Emily, thanks for sharing all the awesome things you learned with us today! Skipping breakfast is no fun for your body and mind, so we’re glad that you have learned all about the best things to eat for breakfast! HOORAY for being a healthy, awesome Wonder Friend! See you soon! :)

  24. I learnd that if you skip breakfast you tend to overeat the rest of the day. I was surprised that the less you eat breakfast the more tired you are in school. I want to know more about a quick snack I can eat for breakfast. I also want to know what I should not eat for breakfast.

    • Hi Whidnzor, thanks for visiting us today! Breakfast sure is a great meal, isn’t it? What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

      Wonderopolis recommends some grains, some fruit, and of course, water! We want you to be hydrated and full of vitamins to have a great start to the day! :)

  25. I learned it is heathy to eat breakfast. I was surprised that you should and kind of need to eat in the morning otherwise you would be tired. I want to know more about the topic. I already knew to eat breakfast because when I don’t I am tired and I also faint I have fainted twice because I didn’t eat breakfast.

    • Hi Alexa, we’re glad you shared what you learned about breakfast! Thanks for visiting with us today! We want you to be a happy and healthy Wonder Friend, so don’t forget to make time for breakfast! :)

  26. What surprised me the most is, if you don’t eat breakfast it can leave you tired for the whole day. I didn’t know that me not eating breakfast is like a car without gas. I also didn’t know that pastries are probably not the best breakfast. One of the facts I didn’t know that the best way to start your day is with a well-balanced breakfast that gives your body the nutrients it needs.

    • Being tired and groggy is no fun, but we’re glad that we learned how breakfast can help that, Emily! Thanks for coming back to Wonder with us! :)

  27. I learned that breakfast is important .
    I was surprised not everybody eats breakfast.
    I want to know more about why breakfast is so important.
    breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

    • Nice work, Esteban! We learned that breakfast is a great and important way to start your day, especially since your body needs energy all day long. Beginning with a healthy breakfast will make you smile! :)

  28. I learned that breakfast means a break in the fast. I was surprised that lunch is not the most important meal. I would like to learn more about the healthiest thing to drink for breakfast. I think this lesson was educational.

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Why do we call it breakfast?
  • Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?
  • What should you eat for breakfast?

Wonder Gallery

kids having a healthy breakfast_shutterstock_95254816Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Hungry yet? Now that you know how important it is to start your day off right with a good breakfast, here are some fun and easy recipes you can use at home to make a breakfast that’s anything but boring!

Have your own breakfast recipe that you love? Share it with your Wonder Friends on Facebook. We can’t wait to try your own unique homemade breakfast recipe!

Still Wondering

In Science NetLinks’ Global Breakfast lesson, children look for evidence of global interdependence in the foods that they eat.

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