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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For the last 15 years we’ve been working to reduce the sodium (which is the major component of salt) in our breakfast cereals across the world, because we want to keep on making them more nutritious. Achieving consistency on all products, in all countries, takes time - so some may have more sodium than others. Our aim is for all our cereals – globally – to have the same reduced levels of sodium, with a target of less than 135mg per serving in all our children’s products.
As well as being a healthy choice for people who want to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet, or have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, Gluten Free Corn Flakes are fortified with B-vitamins, folic acid and iron
Two things to remember: • Look for food labels where the word 'whole' appears in front of the name of the grain, like “whole wheat” or “wholemeal bread”. • For foods with more than one ingredient, make sure whole grain is listed towards the top of the ingredients list. The further up the list it is, the more whole grain has been used in the recipe. And look out for the percentage of whole grain. You should find this in the ingredients list too.
It’s too early to say. The science in this area is still emerging. There is evidence that low GI foods take longer to digest and help you feel satisfied for longer, but none that you’ll eat fewer calories at the next meal.
Because it’s industry practice to label seasonal oils (oils that aren’t consistently available across the year). In Europe it’s now mandatory to detail the types of vegetable oils used in a food product. So it’s no longer permitted to use the term “vegetable oil” on a label.