August 29, 2016

by Mankato Clinic

You’ve heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But when it comes to your children, there’s a lot of truth behind the statement.

In fact, a good quality breakfast helps provide kids with the energy they need for the day and the nutrients they need to continue to grow and develop. Much as it does for adults, eating a nutritious breakfast actually increases feelings of alertness and motivation to learn, which is key for young students. Because of children’s high metabolic turnover and increased growth rates, they need optimal nutrition. A longer night’s rest for kids also means that their bodies are being withheld from food for a longer period of time, which is why eating a nutritious breakfast is especially important.

By making sure your kids eat breakfast, you’re helping lead them to better academic performance and improved energy. Often times, children who don’t eat a good breakfast are more tired in school and have shorter attention spans, especially late in the morning. By adding breakfast to their daily routine, kids are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals they need to excel during the day.

Mornings can be hectic and it may seem difficult to ensure your child eats a well-balanced breakfast, or maybe your child is a picky eater and you find yourself preparing the same breakfast cereal day after day. Check out the following tips to help make your morning, and breakfast, a little easier.

  • If you don’t have time to make your child breakfast, don’t worry! Instead, keep convenient and healthy foods on hand like yogurt, fruit, cheese, instant oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and whole grain bread. Your child can eat their breakfast on the go while on the bus, in the car, or walking to school.
  • Prepare breakfast the night before my putting breakfast cereal and bowls on the table or peanut butter and bread on the counter to make breakfast easy to prepare. You can even make overnight Crock Pot breakfasts that will be ready by the time you wake up.
  • Plan the breakfast menu for the week together and then go grocery shopping so your child feels included in decision making.
  • Make breakfast convenient for them by washing and slicing up fruits so they are ready to grab and go.
  • Blend milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for 30 seconds for a quick and tasty smoothie.
  • Make breakfast wraps by using whole-wheat tortillas filled with cheese and apple or banana slices and peanut butter.
  • Add a handful of chopped or dried fruit to your children’s cereal or oatmeal.
  • Top a banana with yogurt and sprinkle with your favorite whole-grain cereal to make a spin on a banana split
  • Top mini-rice cakes with peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese and fruit.