Why is breakfast important for kids?
Many studies show the importance of breakfast, but results from a recent survey reveal that 1 in 3 kids in Singapore skip breakfast at least once a week. Besides helping kids fuel up for school and play, we share other amazing benefits of breakfast – plus some first-meal-of-the-day ideas that you can try out!
When you were growing up, you probably heard the following mantra from your parents: “Eat your breakfast: it’s the most important meal of the day.” And now you find yourself repeating those wise words in a bid to inspire your sleepy, grumpy kids before they dash off to school - albeit without having breakfast.
Think about it: the word breakfast is made up of 2 words: ‘break’ and ‘fast’. While you sleep, your body goes without food for 8 to 12 hours. Therefore, breakfast is a great way to fuel your body up for the day, giving it much-needed energy.
More reasons for breakfast
Eating breakfast increases your children’s attention span and fuels their bodies to perform better, physically and mentally. Children who skip breakfast tend to feel tired, moody, restless and irritable throughout the day. This affects their ability to focus and concentrate during school (imagine the things that they might be missing during lessons!).
Believe it or not, breakfast also helps to keep your kids’ weight in check by getting their metabolism going; more calories are burnt, converting fat into energy! Children who start their day with a small meal are also less likely to get overly hungry, which means they can avoid overeating at their next meal, or snacking on high-calorie foods.
Power breakfast ideas
Eating breakfast also means eating right. Make your kids’ breakfast choices foods that are high in whole grains, fibre, protein and DHA because these help to boost their memory, concentration and attention, which in turn help them to learn better in school.
Try serving these quick, healthy and nutritious breakfast foods to your little ones before they dash off to school:
1. Wholemeal toast and eggs
This simple and yummy breakfast combo is rich in nutrients and will please even fussy eaters. Two slices of multigrain bread (the perfect serving size for breakfast) is high in fibre, which helps keep little tummies sated for longer periods of time, while eggs are a good source of protein and a natural source of DHA.
To prepare: Toast wholemeal bread and prepare soft boiled eggs. Add a dash of seasoning, such as light soy sauce and pepper to the eggs, and serve with the toast.
Tip: Pour the runny eggs over the toast, or cut the toast into little ‘soldiers’ for your kids to dip into the eggs!
2. Peanut butter and banana sandwich
This nutrient-rich breakfast meal is a hit in my home, and what’s not to love about it? A peanut butter and banana sandwich is full of healthy unsaturated fats, protein, fibre and complex carbs that you stay full for longer. Don’t forget that peanut butter is also an excellent source of essential nutrients such as protein, Vitamin B and the all-important DHA for brain-building.
To prepare: Spread peanut butter on 2 slices of wholemeal bread. Peel and cut banana in round, then layer them over the peanut butter. Stick both slices of bread together and you’re ready to go!
3. Milk and cereal
Ready-to-eat cereal with milk ranks as one of the best choices for a nutritious breakfast, especially for kids and families who are strapped for time. Cereal is typically a nutrient-dense food with many essential vitamins and minerals, while milk provides important nutrients for healthy teeth and bones, including protein and calcium and DHA.
An increasing number of formula milk manufacturers have recognised the importance of DHA for brain development in young children. One example is Dutch Lady ActivGold™ growing up milk. Specially formulated for kids aged 1 year and up, Dutch Lady ActivGold™ contains 50% more DHA* to support your child’s brain development1. It also contains important nutrients such as choline, taurine, iron and zinc to help meet the nutritional needs of your growing child.
To prepare: Fill up half a bowl with your child’s favourite breakfast cereal and pour in some Dutch Lady ActivGold growing-up formula milk.
Tip: Supplement your child’s daily diet with 2 servings of Dutch Lady ActivGold™ growing-up milk to meet the daily recommended intake of DHA2.
* In comparison with previous Dutch Lady formula milk based on per 100g.
1. For children up to 3 years old
2. Helps to meet European Food Safety Authority recommendation for children – 100mg DHA /day with child’s daily diet