By Lynette Lee
We’ve all heard that it’s important to eat like a king for breakfast and this adage rings true even for children. Here are three reasons why you should not let your little one miss what is typically considered to be the most important meal of the day.
1. A good breakfast meal prepares them well for the day ahead.
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More than just a meal, breakfast is the springboard to the day’s possibilities. It breaks their overnight fast and kick-starts their metabolism for the day ahead. Breakfast also restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for the brain to function.
2. Having a regular well-balanced breakfast improves their intake of valuable vitamins and minerals.
Good nutrition is very important as it supports the health, growth and development of young children. As dietary habits are formed before the age of five, having regular breakfast will help children develop healthy eating habits that will last them well into adulthood.
A study of 467 school-going children in the US found higher intakes of vitamins A and E, iron and B vitamins in those who consumed breakfast than those who skipped the meal. Breakfast skippers were also less likely to achieve even two-thirds of their recommended daily intake for vitamins and minerals.
3. Breakfast improves concentration and memory, reduces hyperactivity, and leads to improved grades and better behaviour.
Research has shown that children who skip breakfast tend to become tired, irritable and restless by late morning. This can lead to aggressive behaviour and potential trouble in school. Conversely, children who eat breakfast are able to concentrate better during lessons as they are full of the energy and the essential nutrients they need.
Lynette Lee is the director of nutrition & regulatory affairs at Kellogg’s and has more than 20 years of experience specialising in neonatal, paediatric and oncology nutrition. She is a long-standing member of the Singapore Nutrition & Dietetics Association (SNDA) as well as the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).
To find out how else you can incorporate cereal into other your meals, click here.