You probably heard it from your own parents— breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But now you’re the one saying it to your sleepy, frazzled, grumpy kids, who insist “I’m not hungry” as you try to get everyone fed and moving in the morning.
Even if you eat a healthy morning meal every day, it can be tough to get kids fueled up in time for school, childcare, or a day of play. But it’s important to try.
Breakfast is a great way to give the body the refueling it needs. Kids who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities.
Skipping breakfast can make kids feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Their mood and energy can drop by mid morning if they don’t eat at least a small morning meal.
Breakfast also can help maintain a healthy weight. Breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism, the process by which the body converts the fuel in food to energy. And when the metabolism gets moving, the body starts burning calories.
Also, people who don’t eat breakfast often consume more calories throughout the day and are more likely to gain excess weight. That’s because someone who skips breakfast is likely to get famished before lunchtime and snack on high-calorie foods or overeat at lunch.
It’s important for kids to have breakfast every day, but what they eat in the morning is crucial too. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fibre and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids’ attention span, concentration, and memory during the school day.
Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to get fibre, calcium, and other important nutrients. They also tend to have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.
The morning meal doesn’t have to be all about traditional breakfast items. You can mix it up to include different foods, even the leftovers from last night’s dinner, and still provide the nutrients and energy kids need for the day.
So whether you need a quick bite in the morning, are looking for lazy indulgence or a delicious, nutritious breakfast, we’ve got it covered. Visit our Recipes page for inspiration byclicking on the link below. All recipes supplied courtesy of the BBC Food Collection.