Let’s talk about breakfast:
It is the most important meal of the day and for a good reason too! After fasting throughout the night, our bodies need refueling so we can start the day off right. What we put in our bodies before going to school will affect many aspects of the day – ability to concentrate, mood, irritability and physical wellbeing. It is important to consider a nutritious, well balanced breakfast each morning before going to school. A balanced breakfast can benefit your child in many ways at school and at home.
Unfortunately as a result of tactful marketing, many children are often consuming sugar packed cereal as their daily breakfast. We all know the most popular cereals reinforced by catchy slogans “They’re Gr-reat!”, “They’re Magically Delicious”, “Gotta have my pops”. These cereals are packed with refined sugars and empty calories that will have a negative impact on your child’s energy level (and teeth!). When your child consumes sugary cereals before class starts, they are not receiving the full benefit of their education and disrupting the learning of others as well.
Some of these cereals contain more sugar than junk food itself and should not be considered as a part of a healthy eating regime. After a sugary start, your child’s energy levels will quickly surge and then plummet. These sugar packed cereals will cause a spike in blood sugar which results in a spike in energy (aka hyper, sugar high, crazy), following a quick decrease in energy shortly after (crash). Here is a list of the most sugar packed cereals:
Common Sugar Packed Cereals:
Common Cereals with MUCH LESS sugar:
Derived from Enviromental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/research/childrens-cereals
Children need sustained energy so they can concentrate in school and complete simple tasks set forth in the classroom. Think about replacing those sugar packed cereals with food that contains complex carbohydrates in the morning. Do not get caught up in the amount of calories that some breakfast options have, rather, concentrate on the nutrient value of the food per serving size. Your child is growing and needs the calories for energy throughout the day - here are some of my favorite ideas:
· Fruit, yogurt and muesli,
· High Fiber/low sugar cereals with milk
· Oatmeal/ Hot cereal
· Blueberry oat muffins
· Buckwheat pancakes
· Fruit smoothies with 100% fruit juice or milk
· Hard boiled egg with whole wheat toast
· Whole grain bread with nut butter