Children and breakfast

Many children are going to school without breakfast to face quite a hard day ahead of them without the energy they need.

Your child has eaten a meal before bed in the evening which may or may not have been a balanced meal. They might be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals because they were not included in the meal. They have slept for at least 8 hours and now they are heading to school for the day.

But if they are not eating breakfast then they have no fuel for the day ahead of them. That is like expecting your car to drive a hundred miles without any gas/petrol in the tank or with the fuel on reserve which could only do 30 miles.

Is it fair to expect top performance from your child without the tools to accomplish it? They will soon be snacking in school because of the hunger and they will grab the nearest food in sight. It could be chips/crisps or chocolate which might give them a quick fix but not a long term solution because at lunch time they are hungry again and eating anything that is quick and easy.

The reason for breakfast is a time to break your fast. That is why it is called breakfast.

Each child is different and will have their own likes and dislikes but what can you give them to have for breakfast which will help them during the day but also not add the extra calories, fat and sugars which you are trying not to give them.

Cereal is always a good choice as it is quick and easy. But there are good cereals and not so good cereals. How do you know what cereal to buy for them? Try and choose ones which have no added sugar.

Milk is needed but talking to your doctor and see what they recommend but a low fat milk in the United Kingdom has more calcium in it. But whatever milk you choose your child will need calcium to build up strong bones and teeth.

Fruit is something else that should be eaten at breakfast. It could come in the form of fruit juice and it is a good habit to teach your child to drink a glass of juice in the morning. Again make sure it is a pure juice not one with added sugar. If you child doesn’t like it because of the strong taste or they are too young to have a full glass then dilute it with water. Many children like sparkling drinks and a sparkling water could be added to the juice.

You could also cut up fruit and add it to the cereal and that way you will reduce the need for sugar to be added to the cereal. Or you could chop up fruit and add it to natural unsweetened yoghurt.

A boiled egg with toast is again another good choice. Baked beans on toast is recognized as a balanced meal. There are many options available and you need to make sure that this is a meal your child or children always get into the habit of eating.

Children learn from experience and this is a meal you should also be eating. Your children will watch what you eat and will often mimic by doing the same. You avoid this meal then don’t be surprised if your child rebels and refuses to eat at this time. They don’t want rules of do what I say not do what I do. Let them follow your rules by seeing that what you say matches what you do.

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