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The Benefits of Breakfast for Kids and Students

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The Importance of Breakfast For Kids

The health benefits of breakfast are really important, especially for young people. A recent report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found that one in seven school children are skipping a morning meal and missing out on the important benefits of breakfast.

It’s a worrying statistic given that eating breakfast has been linked with improved English and maths skills in school children! The next time your child wants to skip breakfast, here are some tips below to consider.

Assists in maintaining a healthy weight

Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day. Breakfast means “breaking the fast” as it could be up to 10 hours since your child ate their last meal. Research shows that people who eat breakfast regularly are less likely to be overweight or obese.

Provides energy and essential nutrients

It’s important for your child to eat something nutritious each morning to re-fuel for the busy day ahead. Breakfast is an ideal opportunity to eat foods which are rich in B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre.

People who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their recommended dietary intakes for
vitamins and minerals compared to those who skip it.

Improves alertness, concentration, mental performance, mood and memory

Skipping breakfast may affect your child’s concentration or leave them feeling ‘fuzzy’. This is because the brain is starving for energy and needs fuel from nutritious foods like grainy bread, breakfast cereals, fruit and milk so it can function at its very best throughout the day.

To ensure your children are receiving the benefits of breakfast, choose a healthy breakfast meal which is high in fibre, has a low Glycemic Index (GI) and includes some protein.

Time poor? No need to skip breakfast with these tips

Keep a supply of healthy whole grain cereals, nuts, fruit, tins of baked beans or yoghurt (for example) in the house for your family to snack on. These are quick, easy and very nutritious. Certain breakfasts can be prepared the night before letting oats soaks overnight in a bowl with yoghurt and fruit is delicious the next morning. Also prepare for breakfast the night before by setting the table, with bowls and cutlery. Get your kids involved in this process too.

Smart eating ideas for brekkie!

Kids can be fussy eaters. Here are some options below for delicious breakfast ideas that your kids will hopefully love!

• A bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, a dollop of yoghurt and sliced fresh fruit. Try adding a sprinkle of nuts for extra crunch!
• A delicious smoothie made from milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt
• A toasted slice of sourdough bread with some cheese, baked beans or avocado
• Untoasted muesli or rolled oats
• Poached eggs on whole grain toast with tomato, mushrooms or spinach

Link HC has dietitians who can help provide advice on your child’s diet. Call 1300 552 509 or visit our Nutrition and Dietetics page.

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia

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