Breakfast is a very important meal for growing children. Kids who fuel up in the morning focus and concentrate better in the classroom and perform better on math, reading and standardized tests. They also have fewer behavior problems.
Low-sugar cereals, dried fruit; muffins, eggs, mini-quiches, walnuts or almonds; yogurt, fresh or dried fruit, mini-bagels with low-fat cream cheese, English muffins, rice cakes with low fat cream cheese are healthy alternatives to traditional breakfasts.
Steps to Success
- Plan ahead. Save time. Don’t wait until the morning rush to decide what to eat. Shop with a list and set the table the night before with favorite breakfast cereals, ripe fruit and ready-to-go items such as trail mix or fruit roll-ups.
- Involve kids in food shopping and planning breakfast: Kids are more likely to eat food if they are involved in its meal planning and preparation. If there’s not enough time to help prepare in the morning at least the child will be familiar with what’s on the breakfast menu that day.
- Begin small. If kids aren’t hungry for a traditional breakfast, try small bites of whatever they are willing to eat. Also liquids are easier on small appetites. A fruit smoothie with protein powder or yogurt can make eating more enjoyable and build better breakfast habits.
- Dress first, eat second: Kids are more likely to feel hungry once they've had a chance to wake up.
Kids Learn by Observing
Eating habits are learned. Parents serve as role models for healthy eating and have a powerful influence on food intake and preferences in their children, especially when the children are young.
Habits begin early, take practice and can last a lifetime. So whether they eat at home or at school, be sure your children eat a nutritious breakfast every day!
For more breakfast ideas and recipes, check out the following website:
Image via The Daily Green
Contributed by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, MS, RD, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services