A good breakfast is great for growing up
They’re yawning. They’re rubbing their eyes. After a long night’s sleep, children need a nutritious breakfast to get them up and running. They should get around 20% of their daily energy and a significant amount of nutrients, first thing.
Because breakfast is often easy to prepare, even the youngest children can learn to make their own breakfast (okay, things might get a little bit messy now and again, but, hey, that’s the joy of parenting. Isn’t it…?).
From pouring milk to spreading jam (as long as it’s not on your nicely ironed work shirt) there’s a lot of fun to be had. And choosing what they eat can also help them learn to make healthy choices and develop good habits that can last a lifetime.
1, 2, 3... let's eat breakfast!
Take a look at our top three tips to make brekkie unmissable!
1. Get arty!
Now and then (we know you have busy mornings), why not try turning your child’s breakfast into a work of art. They’ll wake up wanting to see what’s waiting for them! You could use cut-up fruit to turn their plate into a masterpiece, turn their eggs on toast into a happy face or use cookie cutters to turn pancakes into fancy shapes.
2. All together now…
Children love to copy. And if you sit down and eat breakfast with them, they’re more likely to learn to do what you do – and enjoy it!
3. The power of choice
Try spreading the table with different foods and leave it to your children to decide what they want to eat. You could set out two or three varieties of breakfast cereal, offer different fruits for their cereal, or ask if they want their eggs scrambled or boiled.
- Cho S, Dietrich M, Brown CJ et al (2003) The effect of breakfast type on total daily energy intake and body mass index: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). J Am Coll Nutr. Aug;22(4):296-302.
- Serra Majem L et al (2004) Nutricion infanil y juvenile. Estudio enKid. Elsevier Espana: Volume 5.
- Rampersaud GC, Pereira MA, Girard BL et al (2005) Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. May;105(5):743-60.
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