The Importance of Breakfast

Does your child eat breakfast every morning? Find out why eating a balanced breakfast is crucial to ensure your child stays happy and healthy.

We often hear that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day!’, yet according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) one in seven Australian children skip the morning meal regularly. Skipping breakfast can cause a range of health problems for children, contribute to poor academic performance and can even cause behavioural problems in the classroom.

It is really important that we, as parents and teachers, encourage our children to eat a healthy nutritious breakfast every day, Here are some reasons why:

  • Breakfast Increases your child’s concentration levels and improves their ability to learn
  • Helps them to maintain a healthy weight and decrease the likelihood of obesity
  • Strengthens heart, bones, muscles and joints, which will help reduce serious childhood health problems
  • Brightens their mood by providing them with energy which helps build positive self-image
  • And helps to develop positive breakfast habits that they will take into adulthood.

Every child, every day, needs to eat a healthy nutritious breakfast, but we understand it can sometimes be difficult to get your child to eat in the morning! We are here to help with some ideas and tips.

Breakfasts don’t need to take hours to prepare, here are some healthy, quick and delicious suggestions for your child’s breakfast. Why not try:

  • Whole-wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereals e.g. rolled oats, muesli, bran, wheat flakes, wheat biscuits, etc
  • Wholemeal or multigrain toast with baked beans, eggs, cheese or spreads
  • Yoghurt with fresh fruit
  • Fruit smoothies with milk, yoghurt and soft fruit
  • Wholegrain toasted sandwich with cheese and tomato, or banana
  • Wholegrain muffins, crumpets or bagels.

Tip: Try to limit fruit juice as it contains lots of sugar, instead opt for fresh fruit!

Research tells us that one of the most common reasons children won’t eat breakfast is because they insist they are not hungry. Try inspiring your child to eat in the morning. Why not give the following suggestions a go with your child this week?

  • Offer healthy breakfast choices in a variety of ways, as it may take multiple times before your child develops a taste for it
  • Eat some of the same breakfast foods as your child, as this will model healthy breakfast habits
  • Involve them in preparing their breakfast and in trying new foods in different and creative ways.

Tip: Try making a smiley face using a piece of wholegrain toast with cottage cheese and different fruits! This is both a fun and nutritious breakfast that children enjoy eating, and is a great way to start your child’s day!

When providing your child with a healthy nutritious breakfast, try to tick the following off:

  • Fruit and/or vegetables
  • A dairy product (or alternative)
  • Wholegrain bread, cereal or grain product.

You will be providing your child with sufficient amounts of fibre, vitamins and minerals that will boost your child’s energy levels and brainpower! Good luck!