It’s common knowledge that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, yet it is the most skipped meal of the day in children and adults alike. It is estimated that 8-12 percent of school-aged children skip the meal.
What are the benefits?
Children who have breakfast come into the day more ready to learn. Children who eat a healthy breakfast tend to show improved academic performance, longer attention span, better attendance and decreased hyperactivity in school. The brain needs certain nutrients to function properly and eating breakfast is the sure fire way to prepare them for learning.
Those children that are healthier overall are also those that eat breakfast in the morning. They have a greater opportunity to get vitamins they need, such as fibre, calcium, and vitamin D.
Children who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat. Those that are skipping the meal get to lunch or dinner and find that they cannot stop eating. This means a greater likelihood of gaining weight.
Breakfast is also a great time to sneak in some quality time with your child before you both start your day. By sitting down to have a meal in the hectic rush of the morning, you slow down and relieve some stress that both you and your child may be experiencing.
How to get in the habit?
If your child is reluctant when it comes to eating breakfast, set an earlier bedtime. Children who are not getting enough sleep wake up too tired to eat.
More importantly, you should be a role model for your child. If they see you skipping breakfast every morning, they’ll be inclined to do the same. Teach your children healthy habits by employing those same healthy habits yourself! Both you and your child will be happier and healthier for it!
Sometimes children can be hesitant to get into the habit of a healthy lifestyle. By drawing analogies to things they already understand, you can teach them why it’s important to eat breakfast. For example, a great analogy to eating breakfast is a car fueling up before a long drive. When children understand why they are doing something, they are more motivated to do it.