In recent years even more evidence supports the fact that starting your day with breakfast benefits people of all ages, especially children. Kids who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to be successful in school.
According to Lynda Johnson, a former University of Missouri Extension nutrition specialist, well-nourished children are ready to learn, have a greater ability to focus on tasks, have better classroom behavior and have improved test scores. Breakfast eaters also tend to have better school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches. Teachers say it’s obvious when students skip breakfast.
Breakfast may also lead to a healthier weight. “People think skipping breakfast helps lose weight, however, it actually works just the opposite,” states Johnson. “Breakfast skippers often end up starved, then snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch.”
Eating breakfast is an important life-long health habit for children to learn. Research indicates that “maintainers” — people who lose weight and keep it off for a year or longer — make eating breakfast a high priority. A healthy, high-fiber breakfast is more conducive to weight control than one loaded with fat, sugar and calories.
Why are we so likely to skip breakfast? Johnson suggests the following solutions to typical excuses that may be keeping you or your children from eating a healthy breakfast.
Help your children become self-reliant and responsible by teaching them to prepare their own breakfast. Practice on Saturdays until they can put together a quick, nutritious breakfast during the week. By getting at least 3 food groups (grain, dairy and fruit, for example) in a breakfast meal, children are on their way to getting the important nutrients needed each day. Here are easy kid-pleasing breakfasts to consider:
For another quick breakfast idea, try this Wake Up Shake. Enjoy with whole-wheat toast, a bran muffin or high-fiber trail mix.
Wake Up Shake
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
One serving: 1 cup