Nutritious Breakfasts for Kids
What are the benefits of children eating breakfast every day?
- Breakfast provides energy and nutrients to get our brains and bodies functioning. School breakfast provides at least 25 percent of the daily nutrients needed by a growing child.
- Children who eat breakfast are more alert, perform better in class, and have reduced school nurse visits.
- Current research indicates that children who eat breakfast regularly, especially a breakfast of cereal and milk or oatmeal, actually maintain a healthier weight.
- A Minnesota study found that students who ate breakfast had a general increase in math grades and reading scores, increased attention levels, reduced school nurse visits and improved behavior.
What are some nutritious items parents should make sure their children are eating for breakfast?
- Oatmeal or cereal and milk with a little fruit such as banana or strawberries makes a very nutritious breakfast and a great start for children.
- Look for cereals with at least three grams of fiber per serving and less than 6 grams of sugar per serving.
- Try to stay away from items high in sugar. Better choices are cereal products that include whole grains but are still appealing to children.
- It is very important that children see their parents eating a healthy breakfast. More than advertising or peer pressure, parents have the most influence over their children’s eating habits.
What are some quick and easy items for parents on the go to serve their kids?
- Juice or milk is quick to serve and nutritious.
- Take dry cereal in a bag to eat in the car or on the school bus.
- Fruits like bananas, apples, or raisins are good for on-the-go families.
- Look for breakfast bars made with whole grains like oatmeal. Compare food labels and look for those with the most fiber and the least amount of sugar.
- Use the Food Pyramid as a guide to planning your child’s breakfast.
Are breakfasts served at school nutritious?
- Yes. Around 8 million children are served school breakfast every school day.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets the standards for the federal School Breakfast Program. Foods must provide 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance for protein, calcium, iron and Vitamins A and C.
Is obesity on the rise among children?
- Yes. The prevalence of overweight youth ages 6 to 17 years in the US has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
- Approximately 4.7 million, or 11 percent of youth in that age range are seriously overweight.
- Obesity in young people is related to elevated blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressures. Some youth even suffer from immediate health problems like respiratory disorders or orthopedic conditions.
- Increased physical activity and a proper diet are recommended for preventing and reducing obesity in our youth.