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The ideal breakfast for our kids

Andrea Zentai, Nutritionist

Those who have kids are bound to share the experience of the typical morning hassle, when it is time to leave for work and school but your son or daughter has hardly managed to get out of bed, and getting him or her dressed up is a nightmare. And no matter how clearly aware you are of the need to eat something before leaving, you can see in your mind`s eye that by the time you could prepare that healthy breakfast and get your little one to have at least one bite, you would inevitably run late. With this article, we hope to convince you that no matter how hard it is, you should not give up on the morning breakfast. We also hope to give you some ideas about the variety of foods that you can give your child for breakfast and that are not just healthy but also relatively easy to prepare.

Breakfast

Many people think that taking breakfast at home is not really necessary since children will get their meals in the school or kindergarten anyway. However, the thing is that the time between the children getting up in the morning and having their first school meal, especially if they need to be there early, is quite long. This means that it is highly advisable that children get their first meals while they are still at home. A work team of the American Nutrition Society (ADA Evidence Library) investigating the various factors leading to childhood obesity have found the omission of breakfast of 3rd degree importance. Although this is not the highest degree of risk, there is a demonstrated link between the omission of breakfast and childhood obesity.

Breakfast is important also for the sake of providing the body with essential nutrients after the nightly starvation. This can improve the children`s ability to concentrate and thereby their performance, and have a positive effect on their mood, making them less irritable and more resistant to diseases.

I often hear and see that due to the lack of time and the wish for quick preparation and easier acceptance, it is a cup of hot chocolate, caramel, cafe latte or vanilla drink that serves as the regular breakfast meal. A positive aspect of this is that the kids will consume some dairy product, a diet component that is essential for their healthy development. On the other hand, all these drinks have a high sugar content (since kids usually get them sugared) , which may create a sense of satiety for a while but it will not last until the morning school meal. Also, if kids are made full by these drink early in the morning, they will be unable to eat other foods richer in nutrients. Plain milk would be more suitable to drink but children usually refuse to have it. Another point to note: avoid making your child drink and get used to coffee (even if it is caffeine free), especially in our modern environment that bombards them with all sorts of stimuli.

Make sure your kid`s breakfast includes:

  • wholemeal grains to provide their body with longer lasting energy, fibers and vitamins
  • milk and milk products, to provide proteins and calcium
  • fresh vegetables to provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids

Two more points of high importance:

  • make sure your kid starts the day with a glass of water
  • even a small amount of oily seeds can provide the child with long lasting energy

Tasty meals that are quick to make:

  • oat porridge with coca and hazelnuts
  • wholemeal bread with wild garlic pesto and cheese
  • wholemeal roll with egg spread made with linseed oil
  • tomato with a mini mozzarella, followed by chia pudding
  • cottage cheese muffin with poppy seed oil
Breakfast is especially important for children

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