Yes, it’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day and yet too many adults and children leave the house each day with little, or nothing, in their stomachs. Not only does breakfast kick-start our metabolism, it feeds the body and brain and provides the energy and stamina your child needs to pay attention in class, get schoolwork done and participate in physical activities. Children who miss breakfast are often tired, irritable, restless and less focussed than their full-bellied classmates.
We all know the benefits of a healthy breakfast, but how do we get our kids to eat if they’re ‘not hungry’, ‘running late’ or ‘can’t make up their mind’? Try some of these suggestions:
- A smoothie. Blended fruit, milk (and perhaps a dollop of yoghurt) and ice make a great breakfast.
- A toasted sandwich. Instead of boring old toast, make a cheese and tomato, or banana, toasted sandwich which, at a pinch, she can eat on the way to school.
- Offer toppings for cereal. Cereal out of the box day in and day out, can get really boring, so try adding fresh or tinned fruit slices, dried fruit, nuts, honey or golden syrup to spice things up.
- Go the savoury route. Anything can be breakfast – last night’s leftover pasta, a toasted bagel with baked beans, toast with roast chicken on top. Don’t get locked into offering only cereal, eggs or toast.
- Breakfast on the run. If your child really does have to leave the house four minutes after she’s rolled out of bed, toss her a cereal bar, a tub of yoghurt, a banana, or a bag of cereal mixed with trail mix. She can eat these on the run and still arrive at school fuelled up.