Donate Now

Healthy Breakfast and Regular Meals

by , 7th Oct 2013

A survey last year flagged up that 14% of children eat no breakfast before school.1 This taps into a real problem amongst young people today, that meals are skipped and the wrong foods chosen to substitute them. 

Not only do we already have a ticking time bomb with regards to childhood obesity and the health problems, which will cripple healthcare systems and cause children today to die before their parents, but we have increasingly unhealthy attitudes towards food. We are bombarded by media trying to sell us diet products and unattainable and airbrushed glossy selves at the same time as tempting us to buy glossy high fat and high sugar food products.

The World Health Organisation considers childhood obesity to be ‘one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century’. According to its figures, ‘in 2010 the number of overweight children under the age of five is estimated to be over 42 million.’2

So, how can breakfast help?

It has long had the reputation of being the ‘most important meal of the day’ but why? A healthy breakfast has been linked to many health benefits including the maintenance of a healthy weight, improved concentration and performance at school and increased strength and endurance in physical activity. There have also been benefits noted to more specific skills such as hand-eye coordination and problem solving.3

A healthy breakfast has been linked to overall healthier food choices. This same principal can also be applied to ensuring that children eat regularly so that their blood sugar levels remain stable without huge gaps where blood sugar levels plummet and then spike after a high sugar snack only to cause a sugar crash shortly after. Sugar crashes can lead to fatigue and irritability, always something to be avoided where possible with children! Here are some suggestions which can be used at breakfast or snack time. Even better they can be made fun with a minimum of fuss:

1) Boiled egg and whole grain toast soldiers (small rectangles of toast). Arrange them to make an array of funny faces. The soldiers can even march up the side of the egg before getting stuck in the yolk!

2) Fruit face toast. Use pieces of fruit to create faces on peanut butter on wholegrain toast.

3) Eye ball soup! Kids love gore so some gruesome grapes in yoghurt always go down a treat.

4) Children love feeling involved in what they are going to eat so allow children to experiment to come up with their very favourite fruit smoothie concoction. Use milk or orange juice as a base.

5) Rather than baking cupcakes, why not try breakfast muffins using honey rather than sugar and seeds and bran to slow digestion. Perfect for a quick breakfast the next day (if you can resist until then!)

6) Secret pockets! Put fillings such as cheese and ham into pita breads and see if your child can guess the filling. The protein in cheese, ham and eggs will also help keep children full for longer.

7) Fairy tale porridge. Goldilocks couldn’t resist the smell of the porridge from The Three Bears’ house. Use honey and dried fruit as natural sweeteners. Try making it “just right”! Not too hot, not too cold, not too salty and not too sweet, just like in the story!

8) Have a bowl of fruit on offer for children to jazz up or supplement their breakfast with.

donut

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

If you look at the advertising of most high fat, sugar and salt breakfast foods, they are centred on being fun choices. There is no reason to only offer healthy foods that are not fun. Inject fun into your healthy options and then healthy won’t have to just mean “boring”! Some of these options need not take more than a couple of minutes to prepare especially if some things can be got ready the night before. We must remember too that children are born imitators. If they see you sitting down to a healthy breakfast rather than skipping it or grabbing a donut on the go, they will be more inclined to follow your example.

What are your favourite breakfast or snack foods? How do you make them fun and appealing? We would love to hear your ideas.

1) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2012.01973.x/abstract
2) http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood/en/
3) http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/many-benefits-breakfast

Featured image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Meals_g270-Bowl_Of_Muesli_For_Breakfast_With_Fruits_p151244.html

One comment

Leave a Reply
  • terzic.igor08@gmail.com' igor terzic says:

    Sure, it’s healthy eating good prevention many diseases and disorders that can arise if you do not consume food at a good and effective way that enables us to keep our health when it is most needed , in the early period of life.
    Promote healthy habits and general standard way of functioning of our body we defend it so many factors that can negatively affect our system of which must be in balance with what the food we put into it, and it has to be healthy and beneficial for our bodies which we must pay enough attention to be able to normal and do most of the other lifestyle habits that are an integral part of our lives .
    Certainly the foods that we consume must be of good quality so that our children develop in a way that suits their needs and lifestyle , which is faster but we also need to find the time and attention that children experience that what is good for them to become part of their daily habits that will later practice when they are older , because as they learn from a young age will do so at a later age .
    The famous saying is true that you eat , and hence moramno be aware of the importance of the quality of the food we give our children that it is in line with their actual needs for maintaining their health at the level where it will not endanger anything which is bad for their system works and depends on the way the baby food.
    It is not good and does not need to skip meals because it makes up after and as a result of such an unhealthy attitude toward food have obesity , which then spread to a larger number of children and we need to start to take measures that will prevent this occurrence does not become a problem that we deal hard eliminated if we do not get the causes that led to this situation .
    Certainly we need to eat breakfast and lunch and dinner , and so to enter the body enough fuel cepomoci our body and the children’s efforts to withstand everything that makes our system so that it is where to draw the energy needed to maintain vitality and a healthy way in which we eat and so help prevent any disturbances that can cause if we yield to excessive enjoyment of treats that can bring irreparable damage to our body .

Leave a Reply

Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.

AcceptRead More