Breakfast is the first meal of the day – it breaks the fast of the children after being all night without any food. According to experts, to be complete, the breakfast should contribute between 20-25% of their daily energy needs. Unfortunately, not every parent takes it seriously, because a studies showed that 20% of school children skip breakfast on a regular basis. This is a worrying fact.
The reasons are usually the rush to get to school and drowsiness having to wake up quickly in the morning. Parents have to be attentive and manage their time so that their children do not miss breakfast. A useful tip – your children should avoid eating breakfast in front of the television or gadgets. This can help speed up your morning routines!
Other than that, many children now live a sedentary life, which is not a good sign. For example, many small children have developed the habit of eating fast foods or junk foods. Therefore, the habit of consuming healthy breakfast will help to prevent the risk of becoming over weight. In addition, it will prevent children from snacking on processed or sugary foods in between meals.
It’s not just about doing it every day, but to eat breakfast that are as healthy as possible. This does not have to be complicated or time consuming. The only thing parents have to keep in mind is to include natural foods and moderate the consumption of sugar and fats. Below are several important points on why breakfast is important for young children.
More Energy for the School Day
Most people believe calories are harmful and should be avoided at all costs. In fact, things work quite differently: living things need calories to live. The energy obtained through food is responsible for the maintenance of cells and all reactions made in the body. Young children are in full swing and need higher levels of calories to burn throughout the day, whether exercising or having them see through their studies. So, having a good breakfast ensures that children reach their full potential without feeling tired. In short, eating a good quality breakfast can increase feelings of alertness and motivation to learn. Children’s rapid growth rates and high metabolic turnover mean they need optimal nutrition.
Better School Performance
Like all other organs, the brain also needs good fuel to function optimally. Glucose levels are restored by eating a diverse and balanced breakfast. With this, brain function is enhanced and our little ones gain in terms of concentration, focus, speed of thought, and will feel more alert and awake. In addition, it can improve mood and happiness, ensuring better grades and good experiences in the school environment. A good quality breakfast is vital for optimal mental health.
Risk Reduction For Obesity
Contrary to what most people believe, skipping meals is exactly what should be avoided in order to maintain a healthy weight as it causes a slowdown in metabolism. The idea is to eat several times during the day and keep it always active. By skipping breakfast, the body understands that it needs to take it easy and store as much energy as possible. However, this is done in the form of adipose tissue (store energy in the form of fat), which in excess can be extremely harmful to health.
Decrease Risks Of Diseases
The increase in metabolism is responsible for bringing, in the long run, a much higher quality of life to young children who do not skip breakfast. This is because the body of these individuals works the way it should, which results in lowering bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, for example.
According to the National Health Service of the UK, when your child is skipping breakfast on a regular basis, he or she may develop a risk of cardiovascular or heart diseases. Unfortunately, many young children suffer from this problem early on, which increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the not too distant future. Therefore, it can be said that having breakfast is an investment for health.
How To Prepare A Balanced Breakfast For Young Children?
These are example of the components of a champion’s breakfast:
- Cereals (oats, linseed, wheat, chia seeds, etc.)
- Various fruits (fresh or in the form of juices)
- Good fats (present in milk – including vegetable options – cheese, oil seeds, avocado, etc.).
- Protein (eggs, broccoli, almonds, greek yogurt, chicken breasts, etc.)
Combinations using these groups are very effective in promoting health and providing all the nutrients needed for a productive day, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates.
Diversify The Table
To avoid monotony, it is best to diversify the foods. Prepare milk or yogurt with fruit, fruit salads, cereals with milk, toasted brown bread with sliced banana & chia seeds. There is a multitude of alternatives for all types of palates.
This tip is better for young toddlers, but nothing prevents it from being used to feed the older pre-school kids. Make the dishes very colorful (synonymous with health and a variety of nutrients) and attractive by creating characters or words with the products.
The internet and YouTube videos is an endless source of incredible recipes to compose every daily meal. Practical options can be found, such as the famous sleeping oatmeal – a simple yet nutrient-packed meal that can be prepared for the entire week. Avoid fried and processed foods, which can even cause a lack of appetite in the morning.
Be Careful With Other Meals
Although crucial to health, breakfast does not solve all problems alone. All meals of the children must be balanced and nutritious, or the gains made in the morning will not compensate for the deficit of the rest of the day. While breakfast is important, nutritious lunch and dinner should not be neglected.
Remember: habits are not built overnight. Therefore, young children need to be educated early on to eat well. Talk to the children about the importance of eating and explain that following these steps will create good results in school, physical activity, and full development of their organ functions.
As you can see, breakfast is essential to ensure the health and productivity of children and adolescents. With some planning and a little dialogue, it is possible to change the habits of this generation and create a much healthier society.