With the start of a new school year, now may be the time to get your kids in the habit of eating a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is touted as the “most important meal of the day”—and there’s some truth to that. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities which helps in maintaining a healthy body weight. Breakfast gives the body the refueling it needs for the day ahead after going without food for eight to 10 hours during sleep.
Eating breakfast is important for everyone but especially so for children and teens. In general, kids who skip breakfast will feel tired, restless and irritable. What they eat is also important. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber and protein while low in added sugar may enhance their attention span, concentration and memory—which they need to learn in school.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that children who eat a healthful, well-balanced breakfast are more likely to:
- Meet their daily nutrient requirements
- Concentrate better
- Have better problem-solving skills
- Have better hand-eye coordination
- Stay alert
- Be more creative
- Miss fewer days of school
- Be more physically active
Without breakfast, our bodies don’t get the jump start they need to operate at their fullest potential throughout the day. Encourage young people to make breakfast a part of their regular household routines. By helping children learn important concepts about eating breakfast, it will lay a foundation of eating right for years to come.