It's the jumpstart to your day and without breakfast, you are like a car running with a low tank of gas.

It's the jumpstart to your day and without breakfast, you are like a car running with a low tank of gas. Eating breakfast is just as important for adults and college students as it is for young children. Breakfast is for everybody. It has nothing to do with age.

Breakfast provides glucose needed to get the body ready to concentrate and perform at an optimum level. Usually at breakfast, we eat something with carbohydrates that gives us immediate refueling for our brain. Even if we are just going to work in an office, we need to refuel and get as sharp as we can to be as effective as possible.

Some people may be wary of a big breakfast for fear of putting on extra pounds, but eating breakfast has been proven to be more effective in maintaining or losing weight. There's pretty strong proof that we have a tendency, if we skip breakfast, to eat more throughout the day.

Breakfast eaters are better able to control their weight. If you skip breakfast and finally eat lunch, you are more likely to eat more calories and have a net calorie increase that can yield a weight increase. It works the opposite of what dieters believe.

Those who decide to suddenly become breakfast-eaters might have a tough time getting used to the routine, but eventually their body will thank them. You are attempting to start new tasks. You need attention to detail and some ability to stay on task. In small children, those who don't eat breakfast have shown they are more likely to have attention and behavior problems. It does make a big difference on how we respond to the world around us.

The best breakfast would consist of two or three different food groups including protein and carbohydrates. It will get you some protein, which is slow to digest. Carbohydrates to get you alert as you possibly can be. It gives you immediate fuel. Protein and fat get you through that mid-morning slump and hopefully carry you through to lunch.

But for those who can't or don't want cooked bacon and eggs every morning, last night's leftover pizza will do just fine. Breakfast can be just an endless variety of things. Last night's leftover corn muffin, a piece of cheese and a glass of juice would work whatever is available that works for you. There really aren't any rules, other than: eat breakfast.

Jana McKinney is a McPherson County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.