Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Breakfast: Too Important to Skip!

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No doubt you are familiar with the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, this saying holds a lot of truth– especially for children. A healthy breakfast can keep kids focused in school and give them more energy to get through the day.

As a kid I remember complaining if we had cereal more than two days in a row. I was a kid who really enjoyed a hot breakfast, and l loved having a different meal each day. Sure, my parents thought I was a bit demanding and did not always cater to my wants, but when they did, I was a happy kid. I realize that not all kids are like this; some kids really enjoy cereal daily. While I still love a hot breakfast today, I find that a bowl of cereal is really convenient now that I am responsible for my own meal preparation.

Whether your kids like breakfast hot or cold isn’t too important. What’s important is that they eat breakfast, and getting them to eat a healthy breakfast is ideal. In the age of sugary cereals, it can be hard to find a breakfast that kids enjoy and is also nutritious. A healthy breakfast for kids should include at least three food groups. Here are some tasty and quick ideas...

• Whole-grain, low sugar cereal with low-fat milk and sliced banana

• Corn tortillas with scrambled eggs and tomato slices

• Whole-grain waffles topped with plain yogurt, berries, and honey

Some parents might not have the time or resources to provide breakfast for their children on weekdays. Schools around the country have been working on providing healthy breakfasts for students five days a week.

This week (March 8-12) is National School Breakfast week. This year the School Nutrition Association (SNA) is helping the School Breakfast Program (SBP) celebrate with the theme “School Breakfast-Ready Set Go!” To read more about this event check out the website at http://docs.schoolnutrition.org/meetingsandevents/nsbw2010/content_about.asp

For some new healthy breakfast recipes to try on your kids check out this site:

NPR has an article on the benefits of a healthy breakfast for kids. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5738848

Written by Christa Potratz, BS
Graduate Research Assistant

We'd love to hear from you!  Please join in a discussion about your children's favorite healthy breakfast selections by commenting below.