Why kids need to eat breakfast

  • Posted on: Sep 1 2016

Some people don’t like to eat breakfast. It could be because they don’t have enough time or maybe they just aren’t hungry.

Whatever the reason, registered dietitian Jody Pannozzo from MyDietitian.com said eating breakfast is important not only for adults, but children too.

She gave us the low down on what happens if you don’t eat breakfast and a few quick and healthy meal ideas to make sure your young ones don’t want to skip out on the most important meal of the day.

  1. Some kids don’t like to eat breakfast. Why should they?

I know it is cliche to say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it really is true. Breakfast stimulates the metabolism after sleep, helps to keep blood sugar levels stable during the morning hours and has been shown to improve focus and concentration.

Since the body will strive to get all the calories it needs, with or without breakfast, these children often compensate by over eating in the afternoon and evening, when the calories are not as readily burned.

This leads to weight gain.  A child who skips breakfast is at danger of establishing a life long behavior that can lead to a slower metabolism, weight gain and overeating.

  1. What are some easy kid friendly breakfast meals to make?

Traditional breakfast foods tend to be mostly carbohydrate containing foods. You can still incorporate traditional breakfast foods like, toast, cereal, waffles and even pancakes, but the key is to balance out the carbohydrates with a little healthy protein and fat. Adding nuts, eggs, cheese and seeds can be a great way to help balance out the carbohydrates in a meal. Breakfast can also be a great time to work in some fruit. As a rule of thumb always try to choose whole grain products and whole foods.

-2 slices of whole wheat toast with 2 tbsp of peanut butter and a glass of milk

-Sliced apples with almond butter, sprinkle a bit of flax meal on top and 4 oz. of Greek Yogurt

-8 oz. of 2 % Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup strawberries and 1/4 cup blueberries

-2 slices of whole wheat toast with mashed avocado and a touch of sea salt

-Whole wheat english muffin with egg and cheese with an orange on the side

-1 cup steel cut oatmeal with fresh berries and almonds sprinkled on top.

If you are on the go try a protein shake using rice protein powder, a frozen banana a cup of almond milk and 2 tbsp. nut butter or a string cheese and piece of fruit.

  1. Why is it important for kids to be part of the meal planning process with their parents?

When kids participate in meal prep they are more likely to ask questions about the foods they are eating. This gives the parent the chance to explain the benefits of a certain food. They are also learning basic life skills and begin to play a role in their own health.

  1. What advice can you give busy parents who feel stressed out when it comes to finding something to make for their kids?

My biggest piece of advice is relax. Kids pick up on your anxiety and if you put too much pressure on yourself or your kids to eat perfectly, your meals will become stressful. When kids experience stress at mealtime it can have a negative impact on their eating behaviors and relationship with food.

Getting something in for breakfast is the most important goal. Plan ahead and grocery shop with breakfast in mind and try to plan ahead. Most importantly, try to avoid power struggles with your kids by forcing them to eat foods they don’t like. Remember, you teach them best by setting the example yourself.

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