Thursday, October 1, 2009

Learning Begins with Breakfast

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended a meeting at our girls school and amongst the suggestions of a large enough pencil case and various bits of information, their teacher made a point of requesting that students eat breakfast before they show up each day. My first thought was "who isn't feeding their 5-year-old breakfast in the morning?" But then I thought about it a little more...sometimes it is hard to get your child up and ready and I suppose breakfast could be missed.

Studies have shown though that children who eat a healthy breakfast in the morning are more able to focus in school and actually do better in school that those who don't eat. Can you imagine how a growing body must feel after fasting for 12 or more hours? By lunchtime there is no more fuel.

So what should kids eat for breakfast?
Any breakfast is better than no breakfast, but try not to have doughnuts or pastries all the time. They're high in calories, sugar, and fat. They also don't contain the nutrients a kid really needs. And if you have a doughnut for breakfast, you won't feel full for long.

Just like with other meals, try to eat a variety of foods, including:
grains (breads and cereals)
protein (meats, beans, and nuts)
fruits and vegetables
milk, cheese, and yogurt

Here are some breakfast ideas. First, the traditional ones:
French toast, waffles, or pancakes (try wheat or whole-grain varieties)
cold cereal and milk
hot cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat (try some dried fruit or nuts on top)
whole-grain toast, bagel, or English muffin with cheese
yogurt with fruit or nuts
fruit smoothie, such as a strawberry smoothie

And now some weird (but yummy) ones:
banana dog (peanut butter, a banana, and raisins in a long whole-grain bun)
breakfast taco (shredded cheese on a tortilla, folded in half and microwaved; top with salsa)
country cottage cheese (apple butter mixed with cottage cheese)
fruit and cream cheese sandwich (use strawberries or other fresh fruit)
sandwich - grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or another favorite
leftovers (they're not just for dinner anymore!)

If your kid prefers a piece of cold pizza in the morning, why not? It is definitely better than nothing.

Remember, you can always mix up the pancake batter the night before and keep it in the refridgerator. Or better yet, make a double batch of pancakes or waffles on the weekend, freeze them and pop on into the toaster on a busy weekday morning.

One of my kids favorites is a frozen yogurt pop. They feel like they are having a treat for breakfast but it is actually good for them.

- Shannan


No comments:

This blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is intended to replace the advice of a physician. We recommend consulting a physician before embarking on diet changes or a fitness routine. In addition, we recommend that you thoroughly research alternate points of view and make your own decisions as an informed consumer. You are ultimately responsible for your health.