Breakfast is often lauded as the most important meal of the day. Studies have shown that eating breakfast everyday is beneficial to overall health and well-being; for example, The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that people who skipped breakfast had a higher risk of obesity. Everyone has preferences when it comes to eating breakfast, and fortunately there are a variety of foods to choose from.


Cereals

Breakfast cereals often come prepackaged in boxes and are usually served cold with dairy or soy milk poured on top. Cereals high in vitamins and fiber can bode well for health benefits, while other name-brand cereals may have high sugar content. There are also hot cereal-based foods to choose from like cream of wheat, cream of rice and oatmeal.


Meats

Breakfast meats are a staple on many breakfast tables; these foods are often cooked on the stove top and served hot. Generally any type of meat can be eaten for breakfast, but bacon, sausage and steak are popular dishes using meat from turkey, beef and pork to prepare them.


Fruit and Parfait

Fruits and parfaits are included in many continental breakfasts because they are convenient and easy to prepare. Fruit is served sliced or whole, hot or cold, or mixed together with other breakfast foods. Parfaits are fruit mixtures that are made by combining diced fruit with different food toppings like yogurt, granola, Jell-O and whipped cream.


Eggs

Eggs are a versatile and popular breakfast option because of the many ways they can be prepared. Eggs are usually served hot and are often prepared soft or hard boiled, scrambled, fried, poached, or made into omelets.


Pancakes and Waffles

Pancakes and waffles are made from batter-based cake mixtures. Pancake batter is poured onto a griddle or frying pan and the cakes are fried on both sides. Waffles are cooked in a special waffle iron that has a cross-patterned design of indentations. Both are often served topped with butter and maple syrup.


Bread and Pastries

Bread and pastries are common breakfast staples that are available in a variety of selections. Options range from toast, rolls, bagels and biscuits to sweet danishes and croissants. They can be served hot or cold, and with a choice of condiment toppings like cream cheese, jam and butter.