Providing your children with a nutritious lunch each day is an important way to make sure they are getting the nutrients their growing bodies need, but don’t forget the importance of providing them a healthy breakfast.
Why do kids need breakfast? Among other reasons, a well-nourished child is ready to learn. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomach aches in the morning, which means fewer trips to the school nurse. Their overall test scores are better, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination. Children who eat breakfast are also less likely to be overweight and more likely to get enough calcium, too.
Start your child's day in a healthful nutritious direction with a balanced breakfast that incorporates foods from the milk, grains, fruit and meat and beans groups. Quick and easy breakfast ideas include:
- Cheese slices served on whole-grain toast
- Iron-fortified cereal and milk with banana slices
- Peanut butter spread on whole-grain toast or waffle or rolled inside a whole-wheat tortilla
- Fruit such as bananas, strawberries or raisins and milk on instant oatmeal
- Apple and cheese slices between whole-wheat or graham crackers
- Lean ham on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin
Make these tasty, easy breakfasts even healthier by enjoying with a glass of low-fat milk or juice.
If eating breakfast at home simply isn't an option for your child, find out if school breakfast is available. Or pack them a healthy breakfast-to-go that they can eat on the bus or when they get to school. You will not only be encouraging your children to eat nutritiously, but fueling their growing bodies and minds for success.