Have you heard the famous line “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?”. This line was said by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the co-inventor of flaked cereal. Breakfast is important as it is one of the best ways to give our bodies the refuelling it really needs. Skipping breakfast causes lower performance in school, because without breakfast, students will feel tired, restless, or irritable. This is because their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food during sleep. Therefore, by having breakfast, children will get more focus and good memory which may result in a better performance. Moreover, research found that children who take breakfast have higher IQ as compared to those who did not take breakfast.
School Breakfast Programme
Realising the importance of breakfast, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has decided to launch a programme called “School Breakfast Program” for all primary students in January 2020. Before this, a similar programme has been run for several years called Supplementary Food Plan (RMT) which targets children from poor families. The free breakfast programme will be handled the same ways as RMT in which they aim to address under-nutrition and to prevent “classroom hunger” where children need to study on an empty stomach. The Education Ministry said “this programme aims to provide nutritious food according to caloric value and a balanced diet to ensure people practise taking breakfast, a healthy lifestyle as well as to stimulate their growth”. This programme has been applied in schools in Japan to promote good health for Japanese citizens.
Encourage your child to eat breakfast
Even though you heard that breakfast is important, there are still many of us who do not take breakfast especially children. An estimated 40% of children do not take breakfast. This showed that many parents out there find it is challenging to make their child eat breakfast. Children are very picky and unpredictable when it comes to food. If your children are included in this group, you don’t have to worry. Here are some suggestions to help get them excited to eat breakfast.
Eat together with your little one
Remember! If you do not want your child to skip breakfast, then, you must make sure not to skip breakfast. Children follow their parents’ behaviour. If you want to tell them the importance of taking breakfast, you must show them by having breakfast. Therefore, it is necessary to sit down and enjoy breakfast with your child. Being a good example is the best way to influence your children’s habits. Try to set some time in the morning for the family to have breakfast together. Besides, it is more fun to eat together than just eating alone. Other than setting a good example for your child, you can get a chance to talk with your child before getting busy for the whole day. A morning routine will help the child to get used to breakfast. It will take some time to get them into the breakfast routine if they are not used to it. However, once they get used to it, they would not skip breakfast anymore. This tip will definitely work.
Children need to get a healthy breakfast to boost and keep their energy for the whole day. Healthy breakfast should include carbohydrates, protein and fat. What you can do to persuade them to eat healthy food is by distinguishing the taste of healthier foods. Try to sneak vegetables into their food. For example, mix carrot in the mashed potato. When preparing their meal, try to think about ways to make breakfast more interesting. You can style different types of shapes and colours to make it more appealing. For example, you can cut toast with different shapes or make a sandwich with a funny shape.
You can get some food ideas for your picky eater child.
Read: Strategies for Picky Eaters.
Usually, children who are not used to breakfast routine will refuse to eat breakfast because they do not feel hungry. If they are not hungry, heavy or large breakfast is not going to attract them. What parents can do is to start with a light breakfast. Parents can start with a piece of fruit like banana and apples, healthy smoothie, milk, or yoghurt. This type of food may attract them and it is very light and easy for them to eat. You do not have to worry about nutrients because this kind of food is considered as healthy food as well.
Get them involved
Children are more likely to eat the food that they prepared by them. Therefore, ask for their help when preparing their meal. You can give them a small task such as choosing ingredients, decorating their food, and pouring the milk into their cereal bowl. Besides, you can take them to the store for grocery shopping as well. You may ask their opinion on what they want to eat. Give them a chance to choose their food. For example, ask them to choose between yoghurt and milk. Making them involved with their own meal will help them get excited to eat the food.
Check out simple recipe ideas that you can make with your child.
There is a statement that says starting your day off with a healthy breakfast is beneficial for you and you can find countless of its benefits on the internet. It is essential for someone to take breakfast especially for children which needed energy the most as they are very active during the day. Encouraging your child to eat breakfast will not only help to improve their health, it will help you as well!