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Healthy Breakfast for Children | Fortis Memorial Research Institute
Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics

Healthy Breakfast for Children

by Ms. Sandhya Pandey on Dec 01, 2016

Eating healthy breakfast gives a physiological and psychological advantage. Many cognitive studies on children tell us that if they skip breakfast-they lose focus and concentration as well as the ability to think and problem-solve. Breakfast helps improve mental performance and concentration during morning activities.

For children, a good breakfast is even more important. Children who do not eat a good breakfast become tired in school and have shorter attention spans, especially late in the morning. Another good reason to make sure that children have a balanced breakfast is that four out of five children do not get enough vitamins and minerals from lunch and dinner alone. By adding breakfast, children are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals they need. Also, children who don't eat a good breakfast tend to eat more junk food during the day - snacks that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value.

Many teenagers skip breakfast to lose weight as it seems to be an easy method to do so. But this surely isn't a great idea. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals. Without eating breakfast, you're more vulnerable to cravings and less likely to make healthy choices in the morning and throughout the day. That's a disaster - whether you're on a diet or just eating for good health.

Healthy breakfast choices- Make breakfast healthy by adding 3-4 food groups. The healthy breakfast choices will be any fiber rich cereal like wheat / oats porridge/ multigrain cereal/ Indian breads with 1-2% fat milk or yogurt, fruits and nuts. Choose the food that the child enjoys. For example, a chapatti roll filled with vegetables and soya chunks/ paneer or simply pick up a high fiber cereal like oats or musseli (not sugarcoated) with milk, nuts and some fruits or a whole wheat cheese cucumber sandwich, which is both quick and healthy. Keep convenient foods on hand, such as yogurt, fruit, cheese, instant oatmeal. Have your child eat 'breakfast-to-go' on the bus, in the car, or while walking to school, if hard pressed for time in the morning.

As adults, you are the role models for your child so have a healthy breakfast yourself to kick start your day and keep away from craving foods and going off the right track. Do not underestimate the importance of breakfast. Remember, well begun is half done.

Ms. Sandhya Pandey

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