Kids are back to school and mornings can be hectic! Getting the kids ready for school as well as juggling work may leave little time to eat breakfast. However, it is so important to try. There is overwhelming evidence that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for children, but up to 30% of all children skip breakfast entirely.
Why do kids skip breakfast? Some common reasons are:
- Not enough time in the morning
- Too tired
- Trying to lose weight
- Not a breakfast person
The benefits of eating breakfast:
- Studies have shown that children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast have higher IQ scores than their peers who do not eat breakfast.
- Studies have shown that children who eat a daily healthy breakfast have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Studies have shown that children who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight.
- Studies have shown that children who skip breakfast are more likely to be tired, restless, and irritable and have a harder time concentrating compared to children who do not skip breakfast.
Components of a healthy breakfast:
- Low sugar
- Healthy carbohydrates including whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables
- Healthy protein including low-fat or nonfat dairy products or dairy alternatives, eggs, nuts and nut butters, cooked beans, lean meats
- Fiber in the form of whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals, fruits, vegetables, and nuts
Breakfast ideas to get you started:
- Whole-grain waffles, pancakes, bagels, French toast or bread
- Low fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit or nuts
- Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
- Fresh fruit and cream cheese sandwich
- Peanut butter and fresh fruit sandwich
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Breakfast taco with scrambled eggs and cheese
- Trail Mix
- Low sugar granola bar or breakfast bar
Think outside the box! Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner is an excellent source of energy too!
Children learn from example. When your child sees you eating a piece of fresh fruit or a slice of whole-grain toast, your child learns the importance of fueling their brain and body for the day ahead.
If you would like more information about gastrointestinal (GI) digestive disorders and nutrition in children, please contact Dr. Mona Dave’s Plano Office or Southlake Office.