Starting the day with a nutritional breakfast is the healthy option for all of us. For children starting the day the right way is even more important. In the average, busy household, early mornings can be a bit fraught with desperately trying to get everything (and everyone) organized as you race against the clock. Finding ways to ensure that your child is re-fueled with a good breakfast will give them the best chance throughout the day. It will also implant in them a good habit that will, hopefully, last a lifetime. If you can, prepare some breakfast the day before. Keep nutritional �?grab and go’ options in the cupboard for those unavoidable moments. Be a good example yourself. As your children see you treating breakfast with the reverence it deserves, chances are they will too.
Here are ten reasons why a healthy breakfast is such an important part of any child’s day:
After 10 – 12 hours sleep, children need refueling
It’s unlikely that your child ate just before they slept and likely that your child’s sleeping hours are longer than yours. That’s a long period of time without anything in the body to act as fuel. Children need breakfast in the morning to get going and snap out of any grogginess. A good breakfast will sustain your child throughout the morning.
Children are growing at remarkable rates
Your child’s body and brain are growing and developing. All this work means the body (and brain) need to be supported with nutritional foods throughout the day. This will encourage maximum growth and development.
Breakfast means increased strength and resilience
Studies demonstrate that children who are fed a nutritional breakfast daily are stronger and have more physical, and emotional, resilience than those who are not. What you feed your child is important. Fiber and protein will sustain them for longer than sugary foods. They will also provide more essential vitamins and minerals to support their growth.
Say goodbye to irritability and emotional meltdowns
You know what it feels like to be hungry and suddenly you’re snapping at everyone. Children are just the same. Feed your child a healthy breakfast and they will demonstrate less restlessness, less irritability and fewer emotional outbursts.
Breakfast increases attention, concentration and memory retention
Research demonstrates that breakfast-fed children are higher performers and maintain productivity for longer. When you look at the physiology of a child without food in their belly, this is unsurprising. Along with hunger pangs, they will suffer peaks and troughs in energy and mood. Sugar substitutes at breakfast time are also bad news. A sugary breakfast will only give energy for a short period of time. This is followed by a vitality slump and a grumpy head. The result is a listless, restless, or distracted child.
It keeps weight under control
Breakfast kick starts our metabolism – the system responsible for our ability to breakdown fats. This is important to ensure that your child does not become unhealthily overweight. It also allows the body to eliminate any toxins more effectively. This is good news – you may be ultra careful with the produce you supply for your child but there are environmental toxins beyond our control that affect all of us.
Your child is less likely to be sick
Studies show there is a reduction in the number of days absent from school when a child has a daily breakfast. Children who do not eat breakfast are more likely to have sick days than those who do.
Breakfast improves mental clarity, problem solving and eye-hand coordination.
There has been much research around child development and healthy nutrition. One study evidenced that children who eat a daily breakfast excel in most of the early developmental stages such as eye-hand co-ordination. They are also better problem solvers and quicker thinkers than their counterparts. Breakfast will help your child excel at school.
It lowers blood cholesterol
The numbers of children (especially in the US) who have unsettling levels of harmful cholesterol in their bodies is worryingly high. Some estimates are as shocking as one in three. High cholesterol in children can lead to problems when they are older, and, in some cases, premature coronary heart disease. High cholesterol creates plaque, which sticks to the walls of the arteries. The arteries can then become blocked restricting blood flow to and from the heart.
It will keep your child mentally, physically and emotionally resilient throughout the morning
A good nutritional breakfast, those containing some, or a mixture of: protein, fiber, whole-grains, fruit, vegetables and dairy, will maintain a child for the first part of the day. Your child will have stable energy and mood levels which will best support their growth, happiness and productivity.