“Eat your food. You can't skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day.” Many people heard this saying a lot while growing up. Well, the notion that breakfast is an all-important meal is not just something parents thought up to get their children to eat, it is actually true.
The body 'fasts' every night, and after about 12 hours without food, you need to replenish your energy supply. The term 'breakfast' is used because this is the first meal after the long night hours. While no one should skip breakfast, it is very essential that kids are made to eat breakfast every day, even when they don't want to.
Benefits of Taking Breakfast Every Day
- Breakfasters are smarter. Children who eat breakfast are more likely to do better in school; hunger can be distracting, so the level of concentration is higher when kids are well fed. Thus, they remember what they've been taught and are better at problem solving than kids who skip breakfast.
- Breakfasters are happier. Generally, most people who skip breakfast tend to be cranky and uptight in the mornings. Food boosts feelings of wellbeing and makes children happy, particularly when the food is high in carbohydrates.
- Breakfasters are healthier. If your kids skip breakfast, they may miss getting the required daily nutrients such as iron, fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Also, kids who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight or obese; they are more likely to participate in physical activities and less likely to stock up on junk food. Little wonder most dieticians and weight-loss experts advocate the importance of breakfast.
While any breakfast is better than no breakfast, it is important to keep your breakfast choices healthy. In order to get the most nutritional value and a daily healthy start for your kids, there are a variety of food groups you should pay attention to while preparing the ideal breakfast. These include: Carbohydrates/fibre (whole-grain cereals, breads and muffins, brown rice, whole-grain fruits).
- Protein (low-fat or non-fat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts [including nut butters], seeds and cooked beans).
- Fibre (whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts).
- Vitamins (fruits and vegetables).
Although it is generally accepted that breakfast is important, many kids still skip meals, either because they wake up late; or because they think skipping breakfast will keep them slim; or there simply isn't time to prepare breakfast every morning. The following are tips that will help you get set for breakfast every day, even when you're in a hurry:
· Fill your kitchen stores with healthy breakfast choices
· Start preparations from the night before (e.g. ready the tools, mix pancake batter, etc.)
· Have quick-easy takeaway alternatives for really busy mornings
· Involve the kids in the planning and preparation of breakfast meals
· Lead by example; show your kids how to enjoy breakfast by eating yours
Adhering to the simple code of the breakfast rule is one easy but vital step towards overall health for family. So, get in the habit of giving everyone a healthy start for every day.