Healthy and Fun Breakfast for Your Kids
by Amy Hunt
Your kids need to start their day with a healthy breakfast just as much as you and I do. It has been proven over and over again that children who start their day with a healthy breakfast will not only perform better in school, but also maintain a healthy weight.
A study by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital of children in Philadelphia and Baltimore showed that children who regularly ate breakfast had better standardized test scores, better behavior, and were less hyperactive than children who skipped breakfast.
Another study at Oxford University in London compared low Glycemic Index (GI) breakfasts to high GI breakfasts which were consumed by 9-12 year old children. The children who ate the high GI breakfasts (sugary breakfasts) tended to eat more at lunch. It is the opinion of the researchers that low GI breakfasts could be an important factor for controlling obesity in children.
It’s easy to say that children need to eat a healthy breakfast, but it can be difficult to get them to eat it. Tofu and whole grain toast my not be the first thing on your child’s list of breakfast choices. The writers at Kidshealth.org offer the following advice on providing a healthy breakfast for your kids.
What Should You Eat?
Any breakfast is better than no breakfast, but try not to have doughnuts or pastries all the time. They're high in calories, sugar, and fat. They also don't contain the nutrients a kid really needs. And if you have a doughnut for breakfast, you won't feel full for long.
Just like with other meals, try to eat a variety of foods, including:
grains (breads and cereals)
protein (meats, beans, and nuts)
fruits and vegetables
milk, cheese, and yogurt
Here are some breakfast ideas. First, the traditional ones:
French toast, waffles, or pancakes (try wheat or whole-grain varieties)
cold cereal and milk
hot cereal, such as oatmeal or cream of wheat (try some dried fruit or nuts on top)
whole-grain toast, bagel, or English muffin with cheese
yogurt with fruit or nuts
fruit smoothie, such as a strawberry smoothie
And now some weird (but yummy) ones:
leftovers (they're not just for dinner anymore!)
banana dog (peanut butter, a banana, and raisins in a long whole-grain bun)
breakfast taco (shredded cheese on a tortilla, folded in half and microwaved; top with salsa)
country cottage cheese (apple butter mixed with cottage cheese)
fruit and cream cheese sandwich (use strawberries or other fresh fruit)
sandwich - grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or another favorite
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *