Mornings with kids can be a challenge, from getting them up and ready for their day, to getting everyone out the door to work, school, day care, and daytime activities. While it can be tempting to skip breakfast as the clock ticks away, making sure your kids have a solid and nutritional start to their day can set them up for a successful day and help them to embrace lifelong healthy eating habits.
Studies continually show that children who eat breakfast perform better in school, from basic classroom activities to complex standardized tests. Making sure your kids eat a simple but nutrient rich breakfast gives their brain the necessary energy and calories to tackle classroom tasks and learn new material.
Not only does having breakfast increase the brain’s ability to concentrate and impact memory, eating a good breakfast also reduces the risk of hunger pangs during the mid-morning. Hunger pangs can interfere with your child’s ability to concentrate and could even be misunderstood as a stomach ache, sending your child to the school nurse’s office.
After sleeping for anywhere from 8-12 hours, the human body wakes up with a need for calories. Children, whose bodies are still actively growing, need calories to both fuel healthy growth as well as to kick start their metabolism. Eating a nutrient-dense breakfast with healthy carbs, protein, and essential vitamins and nutrients will give your child the calories their body needs to perform metabolic tasks.
Eating breakfast rather than skipping breakfast works to help the body steadily burn calories throughout the waking hours, creating a metabolic boost. Choosing protein-rich and fiber-filled foods helps your child have longer-sustaining energy from their breakfast and will help stave off hunger pangs.
No one is grouchier than a hungry child and most parents can attest to this fact from first-hand experience. Even if your child wakes up and states that they aren’t hungry, encourage them to eat a few bites of breakfast. Give them choices that appeal to their taste buds even if they are non-traditional breakfast options.
Unfortunately, many children are going hungry in America today. No child should ever go hungry, especially when it comes to the most important meal of the day. Organizations exist to help fight child hunger in America and helping them in their cause can bring breakfast (and other meals too) to children all over the country.
Children who eat breakfast are less likely to suffer from mid-morning hunger that impacts their mood, making them irritable or more vulnerable to shifting emotions that lead to meltdowns. Creating a breakfast habit will help regulate your child’s mood throughout the long morning hours before lunch, making it more likely that their day will go smoothly and their interactions with peers, friends, and teachers will be positive.
While taking the time to sit down to a good breakfast can help to set the tone for a great day, mornings can be busy time for families. You can still ensure that your child has a healthy breakfast even when you’re in a rush to race out the door. Plan ahead for busy mornings by creating easy, portable, to-go breakfasts that are satisfying and nutritious and remember that breakfast doesn’t have to be limited to eggs, bacon, or cereal. Many of the healthy, late-night snacks found in this list make great choices for fast and easy breakfasts on the go.