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What is a Full Breakfast?

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While the definition of a full breakfast is often culturally determined, generally a full breakfast is a person's morning meal, which consists of several foods from different food groups. In many cases, a full breakfast includes a balance between starches and proteins, though it may also include some fruits and vegetables. For many people, a full breakfast is not complete unless it is accompanied by common breakfast beverages, including juice, coffee, or tea. People often use the term full breakfast to distinguish the meal from a breakfast that consists of one food item, such as a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal.

For many people, a full breakfast is an indulgence often foregone in favor of convenience and fewer calories. Many still appreciate a breakfast that has all the components of a proper meal, including several different foods served at the same time. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, many still refer to a breakfast that consists of several types of meat, including bacon and sausages, eggs, and toast as a full English breakfast or a full Irish breakfast. These breakfasts are often accompanied by baked beans, stewed tomatoes, or sautéed mushrooms. Such breakfasts are sometimes known as fry-ups and may be washed down with large mugs of strong black tea to which milk and sugar are added, creating a beverage known as builder's tea.

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In the United States, the elements of a full breakfast can vary significantly by region. In the South, buttermilk biscuits topped with sausage gravy is a common breakfast specialty and is typically consumed with strong coffee. In other places, pancakes along with eggs and some type of breakfast meat is a typical full breakfast. One particularly common breakfast found in so-called greasy spoons, also known as diners or corner coffee shops, is a combination of eggs prepared according to customer preference, a breakfast meat, and toast with butter and jelly.

In the hospitality industry, the term full breakfast is often used in contrast to that of the continental breakfast. A continental breakfast typically consists of some type of breakfast bread, including toast or croissants, which are then served with butter or jam accompanied by hot tea or coffee. In some cases, a continental breakfast may also include fruit, cold cereal, or juice. Many hotels advertise that they provide a breakfast in their room rates, but it is a good idea for travelers to determine whether this breakfast is a full breakfast meal or a light breakfast of the continental type.

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everetra
Post 21

@Mammmood - I always get a chuckle when I watch the TV commercials and how they lay out what a full breakfast is supposed to look like.

There is the bowl of cereal, the juice, the coffee, the toast and spread. I don’t know anyone who eats like that, except maybe on the weekends when you tend to go all out with pancakes and stuff. Most of us just eat the bowl of cereal, if that, and are on our way.

Mammmood
Post 20

I lived in Indonesia where a full breakfast is absolutely nothing like what they have here. They eat meat and rice for breakfast, believe it or not!

But it’s not meat like we eat here, in Texas style portion sizes. What they do is shred the beef and then mix it with rice and roll it together in a banana wrap.

It’s almost like an oversized egg roll, although much bigger. This was pretty much my staple every morning for breakfast and I loved it. It was much more satisfying than milk and cereal.

However, I noticed in the later years I was there, Asia was “blessed” with fast food franchises from the West. While this had no effect on how many locals ate, out in the cities people were in fact beginning to eat rolls, donuts, cereal and other light carbohydrates for breakfast. Such a pity, I thought.

amysamp
Post 19

One of the reason I do not like growing up is being away from family, thus being away from family traditions and family meals.

Up until I was a teenager, I remember my Mom would always make us a full breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. She would make different things.

Sometimes our full breakfast would consist of waffles/pancakes, with meat, eggs, home-style potatoes, and fruit.

Sometimes it would be french toast with meat and eggs and fruit.

Sometimes my Mom would make us egg sandwiches, with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese. Then she would serve a fruit salad as the side dish.

Sometimes she would make us breakfast casserole with eggs, sausage, vegetables, and cheese

. Other times she would make us cinnamon rolls, biscuits, and sausage.

No matter what my Mom made as the main entree, she would always also serve fruit, home-style potatoes, and orange juice to drink.

Those days seem long gone now, and it is kind of sad. I really miss our whole family being together to enjoy good food and good company. I do not enjoy cooking for myself, so I usually just have a quick, convenient breakfast all by myself.

geekish
Post 18

@fify - That is cool that you got to go study abroad in England, especially since they made a full English breakfast every single morning. I have not had a full English breakfast, as far as I can remember, but it does sound good.

I agree with you on the beans part though, I don't think I could eat them for breakfast, especially since you would probably feel gaseous all day. It seems like beans would also make you feel sick to your stomach if you had them right after you woke up.

Maybe once your body gets used to having beans on a regular basis it doesn't react negatively, like it does when you only have them like a few times a month. Maybe since English people are more used to having means, they don't have so many ill effects.

tolleranza
Post 17

A full breakfast really is in the eye/stomach of the beholder. I have a pretty high metabolism, so I eat more than most people I know and it usually takes a lot to get me full.

Here is what a full breakfast consists of to me: pancakes or waffles, two different kinds of meat at least, scrambled eggs or some sort of vegetable omelet, a biscuit with butter and jelly, hash-browns or home-style potatoes,fruit, and maybe a part of a muffin.

I rarely have a full breakfast, as I do not enjoy cooking, and do not have the means to go out to eat a lot, so I just make do with what I can easily assemble together

. Usually I will have cereal, a piece of fruit, cheese, and water for breakfast, although I am nowhere near satisfied at the end of this so-called breakfast meal.

Sometimes I will have granola cereal with yogurt and a piece of fruit, or toast with peanut butter on top and a piece of fruit. Peanut butter,granola, and Greek yogurt seem to fill me up pretty well, so I feel more satisfied on the days that I have peanut butter and granola included in my breakfast.

I feel especially satisfied when I get to eat a full breakfast though. I could probably eat a full breakfast at anytime of the day, as my stomach doesn’t tell time.

nanny3
Post 16

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day, and I can actually indulge myself in a full breakfast anytime of the day or night.

There is just something about eggs, hash browns, grits, biscuits, gravy, sausage and bacon that makes my day. It is scrumptious!

I love waffles and pancakes, too! The only thing about it is that sweet stuff seems to make me a little sick to my stomach first thing in the morning. I usually stick to pancakes and waffles only in my evening-breakfast extravaganzas.

blackDagger
Post 15

For many years I was one of those folks who were up and out in the morning, and if I got breakfast it was through a drive-through. (Sorry healthy folks, but that’s just how it was!)

I had a full career which occupied my time, and a husband as well. We had plenty of cash and it was far more convenient than trying to cook or even eat a bowl of cereal.

However, after I had my second child I took the big plunge, and decided to be a stay at home mom. I never realized that one of my favorite things about being home more would be to cook great meals for my family!

Just last

week, my husband had a day off in the middle of the week. I surprised him with pork chops, homemade French toast, fresh fruit and coffee for breakfast. He was thrilled!

One of our healthier full breakfasts, however, is my fresh veggie omelets that have tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and cheese. That usually comes with a side of toast or hash browns, sausage or bacon, fruit and, of course, a huge cup of coffee.

On Saturday’s, the kids and I make homemade muffins, and we include lots of other great breakfast foods to top off our meal!

jonrss
Post 14

I live in St. Louis and we have a lot of signature breakfast foods. The most famous is called the slinger and it what I always think of when I think of a full breakfast.

Here is a slinger. It is a bed of hash browns topped with two or three eggs cooked any style. This is topped with either a hamburger patty or sausage patties and then the whole thing is topped with a generous amount of chilli. On top of that goes cheese, raw onions and jalapenos if you are feeling adventurous. I know this sounds gross but it is so good! If I am in the right frame of mind I can attack one of these things and eat it in 5 minutes.

whiteplane
Post 13

I am a breakfast nut. I eat first thing in the morning every morning and I crave breakfast foods more than any other. When I hear the term full breakfast I probably imagine a bigger breakfast than most people. For me a full breakfast is like a thanksgiving feast at breakfast time.

Here is what it would include. Eggs (scrambled and maybe one fried), sausage, bacon, toast, hash browns, a biscuit and gravy, fresh fruit and a big glass of orange juice next to a hot cup of black coffee. I know this sounds like a lot of food and it is but I have eaten a variation of this breakfast almost very Sunday for years. I look forward to it all week.

animegal
Post 12

What is most interesting to me about the idea of a full breakfast is how much it differs between cultures. When I was in Glasgow I had the chance to try a full Scottish breakfast and it had haggis and black pudding tossed into the mix of what I considered somewhat normal breakfast foods. I gave them both a tentative try and I can't say that they would be something I would try again in the future.

What is the oddest thing you've ever come across in a traditional full breakfast?

While the haggis was certainly different, I must say the seaweed broth and rice I was given in South Korea was my top oddest breakfast.

wander
Post 11

When my friend was showing me around Camden Town in London he insisted that I couldn't leave without trying one of the English full breakfast specials there were posted up and down the street. I was hesitant because I've heard at what a cholesterol raiser those meals can be. I figured though I wouldn't be having one again anytime soon so what not?

I was absolutely shocked though at the portions of what they gave me. There was ham, sausages, bacon, eggs, hash browns, grilled tomatoes and toast. There must have been a few thousand calories in that meal at least, not including the tea, coffee and juice that were also provided. I suppose it was a great deal, just assuming you don't eat the rest of the day.

julies
Post 10

@golf07 - If you like staying at bed and breakfast places in the United States, you would love the inns they have in England and Ireland.

When we were in Ireland for my daughter's wedding, we stayed at several places like this. These are actually more common than hotel chains over there.

It is so fascinating to chat with the owners and get an idea of the culture and people. Of course you are always served an English full breakfast.

The meat and some of the other items are a little different than what we are used to, but it is always very good and flavorful. This also gives you a good idea of what kinds of food they eat on a regular basis.

Some of our best memories from our trip were the bed and breakfast homes we stayed in. The hardest part was choosing which ones to stay in, because there were so many different ones to choose from.

golf07
Post 9

I prefer staying at a bed and breakfast inn over a hotel any day. I like the cozy, friendly atmosphere, and feel much more at home in a place like this than a hotel room.

You also know that you are going to be getting a huge, full breakfast. If you leave a place like this hungry, it is certainly your own fault.

There are usually so many delicious items to choose from and you know they are home made. Not only do you get to enjoy good food, but friendly conversation from the owners and other guests who are staying over night.

This is my favorite way to travel, and even though it takes a little

bit more effort to find places like this, I think it is worth it.

You know your breakfast will have eggs, bacon, sausage or some kind of egg casserole. There is always fresh fruit and usually some kind of homemade rolls or pastries. This kind of breakfast keeps me full for hours!

John57
Post 8

When I am traveling and spending the night away from home, I always look to stay in hotels with a full breakfast.

I always eat breakfast and want something more than a sugary pastry and small glass of juice. I also like the convenience of being able to eat a big breakfast before I start on the road.

For me, a full breakfast includes some hot items and protein in the form of eggs and meat. One place I stay at often has hard boiled eggs, which is a nice change from time to time.

I have always been a fan of breakfast and like to start the day feeling full and satisfied. If I skip breakfast

or even eat something light, I am famished in a couple of hours and that is when I am looking for the junk food.

I was recently at a health seminar where they were talking about managing your weight. They encouraged you to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

In other words, it is better if you can eat a full breakfast at the beginning of the day. This gives you a chance to work off the calories during the rest of the day, and you are starting off the day right.

StarJo
Post 7

@shell4life - The pastry is a very important part of a full breakfast to me, also. Some days, it’s a blueberry cake donut, and others, it’s a cruller with strawberries.

I generally have bacon, an English muffin, orange juice, coffee, and some type of pastry. Blueberry cake donuts are wonderful, because they have a cake-like consistency and don’t seem to be as greasy or fattening.

Crullers are wonderful with big fresh strawberries. I like to take a bite of each and chew them together.

As you can probably tell, for me, the sweet part is the star of the meal. The other parts help fill me up, but I look forward to the dessert the most.

shell4life
Post 6

To me, a full breakfast means an orange, a sausage in a biscuit, a chocolate turnover, and coffee with sugar and milk. This is my favorite early morning meal, and when I have time to make it, I thoroughly enjoy eating it.

The meat gives me energy in the form of vitamin B and iron. The orange makes me feel healthy and gives me my dose of vitamin C. The biscuit goes so well with the sausage, and the chocolate turnover just plain makes me happy.

The coffee wakes me up and makes me alert and ready to start the day. I like to have a glass of ice water along with the meal to better wash things down.

wavy58
Post 5

Has anyone ever stayed at a hotel with a complimentary full breakfast? The only ones I’ve ever stayed at offered continental breakfasts, and if you wanted anything more, you had to pay for it.

I’m guessing that only the more expensive hotels offer full breakfasts for free to their guests. Is this correct?

Cereal, waffles, and bananas are a whole lot cheaper than meat and eggs, and the hotel doesn’t have to pay a chef to cook them. Usually, hotels have a waffle maker that you just pour the batter into yourself.

I don’t mind, since I usually only eat cereal for breakfast anyway. I have just never heard of full breakfasts at hotels before.

orangey03
Post 4

They say it’s best to eat a full breakfast, because it can keep you fuller longer and give you the energy you need to sustain throughout the morning. However, I know that if I ate a full breakfast every day, I would gain weight quickly.

Breakfast meats like sausage and bacon are full of fat, and the butter in pancakes makes them fattening as well. So, on most days, I eat whole grain cereal with a banana and coffee.

On days that I do eat a full breakfast, I can go until lunch without feeling hungry again. However, it’s the bad kind of full feeling, where I feel loaded down with grease and fat.

burcidi
Post 3

@fify-- I love English breakfasts too! I have British friends and I've had a Full Monty Breakfast at their house several times. It's really good, and I can't get enough of those beans unlike you!

The other breakfast I love is Southern full breakfasts. There is a really great restaurant that serves Southern food where I live and their biscuits and sausage gravy is just to die for. I really like the eggs and cheese grits too.

fify
Post 2

I went for a study abroad program in the UK last year and absolutely loved the full English breakfast menu. I couldn't really get used to having baked beans in the morning, but I loved everything else.

Breakfast in my house consists of cereal, milk and orange juice. And maybe some waffles if we're really lucky. So I definitely didn't grow up eating full breakfasts. The family I stayed with in London though were huge fans of big breakfasts. The mother, without exception, prepared numerous English breakfast foods for us every single morning.

I loved the toast, eggs, sausage, potato and mushroom combination. It's so delicious and I'm making an English breakfast for myself often now. I don't make the beans because I just can't seem to accept beans as a breakfast food.

ddljohn
Post 1

I don't have the time to have a full breakfast during weekdays since I generally rush out of the house to go to work. My breakfast on weekdays consists of a granola bar or some fruit yogurt on the go.

But I love having huge breakfasts with the family on the weekends. My idea of a full breakfast is pancakes with butter and maple syrup, scrambled eggs with bacon or hash browns along with orange juice. I also love finishing off a full breakfast with some coffee while reading the newspaper.

Sometimes my wife prepares a bed breakfast for me with some of these breakfast foods on Sundays. What could be better than having such a great breakfast

without even getting out of bed?!

I wish I could eat a full breakfast like this every morning because it really keeps me full until the afternoon. When I have a small breakfast in the morning, I'm hungry again in a couple of hours.

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