How to give your child the perfect start every day

lead image

Yes, it’s possible. With the right nutrition, your child can get an ideal start that will positively affect his whole day. It’s simple and easy, mums!

We’ve all heard of the benefits of a healthy breakfast for kids. According to Chow Pek Yee, the President of Singapore Nutrition and Dietetics Association and Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies, the ideal breakfast is important to “meet part of the daily requirements.” Ensuring that your child consumes a variety of nutritious food from different food groups is the best way to give your child a perfect start to the day.

However, what primary school students eat for breakfast is typically not enough to meet their nutritional requirements. Let’s take a look at a number of typical breakfasts to see just how well each one answers your child’s needs – and what necessary adjustments to make so that the morning meal can better fulfill the dietary needs of your growing child:

perfect-start-to-the-day

Breakfast Type #1: No Breakfast!

One in three children in Singapore skip breakfast once a week. This statistic is alarming because starting the day with an empty stomach is not ideal for primary school children. They are in a period of steady growth – both physically and mentally – and need to replenish their energy stores.

During sleep, the body is still, but brain activity does not stop. Compared to other organs, the brain uses the most energy – as much as 20% of the body’s total intake. So by the time a child wakes after 8 to 10 hours of sleep, the body’s energy stores would already be depleted. A nutritious breakfast is a must.

The solution? Ensure that your child eats breakfast and receives enough energy to actively participate in school.

perfect-start-to-the-day

Breakfast Type #2: Sweets and Sugary Drinks

Glucose is an important source of energy for the body. Our bodies get glucose from the food we eat, such as from carbohydrates. And when glucose travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it is known as blood sugar.

Having sugary cereal and pastries like croissants, cakes or donuts for breakfast will definitely replenish the body’s glucose. However, too much sugar will lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. This sends the pancreas into overdrive to bring blood sugar levels back down. Unfortunately, this will also result in a “sugar crash” later on, making your children sleepy and irritable.

The solution is to minimise sugar in the morning. This will reduce chances of blood sugar level spikes. Grains – particularly whole grains – and cereal are great for breakfast; however, it is better to opt for low sugar or sugar-free choices.

You may not be aware that many breakfast beverage options contain more sugar than what should be consumed in the morning. Fruit drinks, chocolate malt beverages, or yoghurt drinks, may seem like a healthy way to start the day, but they often contain high levels of sugar. This can be verified by looking at the list of ingredients on the packaging.

perfect-start-to-the-day

Breakfast Type #3: Carbo-Loading

A simple slice of bread definitely trumps having no breakfast at all. But you need to watch out for these “easy” carbohydrates.

Eating replenishes the body’s energy when food gets converted to glucose. All of our cells require glucose to function and carbohydrates are a great source of this. However, not all carbohydrates are equal. Similar to having sweets for breakfast, high glycemic foods (highly processed carbs like white bread and white rice, and even some fruits like melons and pineapples) get converted into glucose too fast.

Complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread and oats are a better option. These get absorbed more slowly, delivering energy at a steadier pace throughout the day.

perfect-start-to-the-day

Breakfast Type #4: Protein-Heavy

Protein, an important building block of bones and muscles, is also important for growing children. So it’s a good idea to include rich sources of protein in your children’s breakfast.

Although a popular choice, hotdogs and other processed meats don’t count as nutritious sources of protein because of their high-fat and high-sodium content. Milk and nuts are good sources of protein although both have their share of detractors because of the alarming rise in the number of children with food allergies. Eggs are an ideal alternative because, aside from protein, they also contains nutrients such as folate, choline, iron and omega-3 fats.

perfect-start-to-the-day

Breakfast Type #5: Well-Balanced

A well-balanced breakfast is the perfect start to the day for your child. A combination of proteins and complex carbohydrates are part of a healthy breakfast plate. This means putting a protein-rich food like peanut butter together with a complex carbohydrate like whole wheat bread or oats. Topping it off with a serving of fruit like berries (which are high in fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C), will make your child’s meal even more complete.

Another way to provide your children with the perfect start for the day is to include a bottle of BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken for Children as a daily breakfast supplement. Formulated especially for children aged two to 12, you can start them young by encouraging them to drink a bottle every morning, to kickstart the day on a nutritious note.

Particularly in Singapore, good nutrition for children is important when facing intense academic rigor. A mindful diet can go a long way to improve focus and concentration. This allows children to learn faster, ultimately saving resources otherwise spent on catch-up tuition. Perhaps best of all, it leaves more time for playing and bonding with the family.

Even when breakfast isn’t quite ideal, BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken for Children can balance it out. Scientific studies have observed its ability to lower the body’s blood sugar response to high glycemic foods such as white rice and white bread – helping to maintain energy levels throughout a child’s activity-filled day.

BRAND’S® AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken for Children has two variants: one with Vitamin B Complex, which supports and enhances the physical and mental development of a growing child; and the newly-launched variant with Lycium, that has a naturally-sweet flavour and is known be nourishing to the eyes, liver and kidneys.   

Brand's Essence of Chicken for Children: A Perfect Start to the Day!

Ready to give your child’s breakfast a boost? Enjoy an exclusive 15% discount* when you purchase BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken for Children from Shopee Singapore. To take advantage of this promotion, enter the code BRANDSFC2 when you checkout with BRAND’S AlphaMynd Essence of Chicken for Children* (BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken for Children with Vitamin B Complex (6 x 41ml) or BRAND’S® Essence of Chicken for Children with Lycium (6 x 41ml). Hurry, voucher expires on 11 May 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

 

*Limited to one redemption per customer. Valid for the first 1000 redemptions only. Terms and Conditions apply.

 

Got a parenting concern? Read articles or ask away and get instant answers on our app. Download theAsianparent Community on iOS or Android now!

Written by

Daphne