Everyone knows that a healthy breakfast helps to kickstart our day. But why exactly is this so, Mums and Dads? Ms. Gladys Wong, a dietician at the Singapore Nutrition & Dietetic Association, sheds some light on what really makes a healthy breakfast and its importance.
Mums, if you often find it challenging to make your family’s breakfast during hectic mornings, you’re not alone! A recent survey by AsiaOneHealth reveals that 1 in 3 children in Singapore skip breakfast at least once a week. Half of the parents surveyed said that there’s simply “not enough time for the child to eat”.
Yet it’s definitely worth putting some effort and time into making the right kind of breakfasts, as their benefits can be life-changing for Junior. In a study that can be found on the US National Center for Biotechnology Information online, we learn that breakfast eaters:
- excel more in school
- are less lethargic
- are able to concentrate better
- maintain a healthy weight
But what makes a healthy breakfast?
We’ve put together this video to share what constitutes a wholesome breakfast, and how you can make it nourishing as well as yummy to jumpstart your child’s day.
A simple but golden rule
A healthy breakfast should include nutritious foods from the four main food groups:
- Proteins (or protein alternatives like tofu or nuts)
- Grains (particularly whole grains)
The importance of whole grains
Besides balancing foods from the first three groups in your child’s breakfast, it’s also essential for mums to include grains, particularly whole grains, as you wouldn’t want to miss out on the lifelong health benefits it offers.
According to The Whole Grains Council, there has been mounting scientific evidence on the long-term positive effects of consuming whole grains. Some amazing benefits are:
- reducing the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer
- better maintenance of healthy weight
- healthier arteries and blood pressure levels
However, a nationwide dietary survey by Newcastle University International Singapore reveals that:
- 6 out of 10 children are not eating any whole grain
- 94% of children do not meet the whole grain recommendation
- Only 6% of children consume the US daily recommended intake of 48g whole grains every day
Get creative! How to get kids to eat foods from the four main food groups
Wondering how you can incorporate whole grains into your family’s breakfast to give the health boost they need? Simply fill your kitchen with ready-to-eat foods like cereal (with whole grain as the number 1 ingredient) and whole wheat bread.
To get you started, here’s a quick and easy-to-prepare breakfast that your kids will surely enjoy:
- Add superfruits to whole grain breakfast cereal such as blueberries and strawberries in bite-sized pieces or fun shapes – kids will enjoy the sweetness of these fruits that are also packed with anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and minerals
- Throw in almonds or walnuts to add that nutty flavour; they’re full of protein, brain boosting, heart-healthy fats and fibre
- Lastly, mix it all up with some milk, a perfect source of dairy, before serving
And there you have it, Mums – cheers to a happy and healthy breakfast!