As families rush around in the morning, breakfast may be viewed as yet another distraction; but the important morning meal is a "must-have" for kids of all ages.
A 2005 article summarizing the results of over 30 studies on breakfast consumption by children and adolescents and its relationship with nutritional adequacy and academic performance revealed, among other things, the following:1
Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their nutrient intake recommendations over the course of the day than their breakfast-skipping peers.
Eating breakfast may positively benefit cognitive function related to memory, academic performance and school attendance.
Skipping breakfast has been linked to increased snacking during the day or higher intake of high fat snacks.
While we all know that eating a balanced breakfast is important, having the time to feed our children a wholesome meal in the morning can be a challenge.
Connie Evers, M.S., R.D., a registered dietitian and children’s nutrition expert explains that “breakfast needs to be something families look forward to, rather than a stressful and challenging experience for moms and children.” She suggests waking up earlier to ensure the entire family has time to sit down and enjoy the meal together. Parents that set a good example and eat in the morning will help set the stage for their children to follow suit.
Evers continues to say that variety is the key when designing a breakfast that will supply energy to last throughout the morning. “Children need a balance of nutrients and tasty goodness, and moms need a breakfast solution that is quick and convenient,” states Evers.
Create a meal of whole wheat toast or a whole-grain toaster waffle with Nutella® hazelnut spread, a small bowl of sliced strawberries and a glass of 1% milk for a good mix of morning nutrients.
When used in moderation with complementary foods, Nutella® can form a part of a balanced meal. It is a quick and easy way to encourage kids to eat whole grains, such as whole wheat toast, English muffins, toaster waffles and bagels. With the unique taste of Nutella®, kids may think they are eating a treat for breakfast while moms are helping nourish their children with whole grains.
1Rampersaud GC, Pereira MA, Girard BL, Adams J, Metzl JD. "Breakfast Habits, Nutritional Status, Body Weight, and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2005;105:743-760.