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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Breakfast is Vital for Growing Children - Important Reasons

By Andrew Loh

Morning meal in form of a full breakfast is very vital for your growing children. Consumption of breakfast is one of the most important eating habits that your child should adapt before going to school. Latest research suggests that a healthy breakfast can beneficially impact the way your child grows and builds up his or her intellect and intelligence. Studies conducted so far indicate that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and your child needs wholesome breakfast to stay fit and healthy throughout the school year.

Breakfast provides a series of benefits and advantages to your kid like:

#1: It can provide much needed nourishment needed for better academic performance and achievements. Children who do not have breakfast will be more tired, look insipid, irritable and energy less throughout the day. Loss of energy and vitality means heightened aggression and hyperactivity that may eventually lead to academic failures. On the other hand, children who eat regular breakfast will be more agile and active. They will also have a better attitude accompanied with a relaxed outlook

#2: Breakfast can help your child to score better grades in the school. Recent research suggests that children who eat breakfast everyday will perform better in math tests and other IQ tests. Apart from academics, they will also fare better in a score of other non-academic activities like play, sports, extra-curricular activities, music and board games.

#3: Regular breakfast will also help you child to attend his or her classes on a regular basis. It is a common fact that children who skip breakfast always complain about stomach ache and pains. Normal breakfast will help children maintain better health as well.

#4: With daily breakfast, your child will accumulate all the necessary nutrients and growth factors required for optimal growth of body and mind. Children who eat breakfast will gain invaluable ingredients like vitamins and minerals that have the ability to prevent a number of nutritional deficiencies. A typical breakfast contains sufficient quantities of fiber, calcium and folic acid.

#5: Breakfast can help your child control weight. Daily breakfast can help streamline your child's meal pattern and eating habits. Childhood obesity is a recurring problem that occurs because of eating junk foods and high energy-high fat snacks.

Reasons for your child not eating breakfast:

Your child may not like to eat breakfast because of a number of reasons like:

  • Lack of time

  • Hurry to go to school

  • Morning sickness

  • Absence of hunger

  • Distaste for food early in the morning

  • Defiance to eat breakfast

Here are some tips that help you to create healthy eating habits in your young children:

  • Get your child's school pack and baggage ready by the previous night so that he or she will have an ample time for the morning breakfast.

  • Wake up early in the morning (at least 15 minutes before) so that you can prepare a good breakfast for your child.

  • Never ever allow your child to watch TV or play video games early in the morning.

  • To save time, pick menu that does not require more time to prepare. You can stick with items like fresh and canned foods, milk, cheese, boiled eggs and cereals.

  • Dried food, nuts, peanut butter, dried fruits and breakfast bars with low fat and calories are also good for your child.

  • Skimmed milk with slices of fruits and breakfast cereals could form a good breakfast.

  • If your child hates breakfast, you can give him or her more formal foods like chicken munchies and small bits meat balls.

If possible set a schedule that requires all family members to have breakfast together at least once in a week preferably on Sundays. Make it a cardinal rule that asks every family member to eat a particular type of breakfast at least once in a week. Remember that your children try to imitate you and if they see that you are not eating breakfast, they are most likely to follow your behavior. You may need to set an example to show that breakfast could be nice idea after all, both for you and your family. You can also encourage and cajole your children to eat breakfast by asking them to help you in planning the entire week's breakfast menu and recipe. You can also request them to help you in preparing their breakfast and set the table for the morning course of a nutritious meal.


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