Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night’s sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day’s work. Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but often include a carbohydrate such as grains or cereals, fruit, vegetables, a protein food such as eggs, meat or fish, and a beverage such as tea, coffee, milk, or fruit juice. Coffee, milk, tea, juice, breakfast cereals, pancakes, waffles, sausages, French toast, bacon, sweetened breads, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, baked beans, muffins, crumpets and toast with butter, margarine, jam or marmalade are common examples of Western breakfast foods, though a large range of preparations and ingredients are associated with breakfast globally. Some nutritional experts have long referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, weight, and cardiac health.
The nutritionist Monica Reinagel has argued the metabolic benefits have been exaggerated, noting the improvement in cognition has been found among children, but is much less significant among adults.
Breakfast in modern Japanese households comes in two major variations: Japanese-style and Western-style. Japanese-style breakfasts are eaten widely in Japan, but are often eaten only on weekends and non-working days. Younger Japanese couples may prefer Western-style breakfasts because they are generally less time-consuming to prepare. The standard Japanese breakfast consists of steamed white rice, a bowl of miso soup, and Japanese styled pickles (like takuan or umeboshi).
Traditionally, Korean breakfasts consist mainly of rice and soup dishes. These can include small amounts of fish or beef, and some form of broth, stew or porridge. Like all Korean meals, breakfast is usually served with banchan, or side dishes consisting of kimchi, steamed eggs and tofu.