We always hear about breakfast being the most important meal of the day, but knowing this doesn’t exactly solve the challenge of feeding a resistant breakfast-eater. Now that it’s time to return to school and shift schedules, this might feel like even more of a morning battle.
Kids and teenagers who eat breakfast tend to maintain sharper focus, increased energy, regulated appetite and a stronger immune system during the day. Without breakfast, the body doesn’t get the start it needs to function at its fullest potential throughout the day.
When choosing breakfast for your child, there are a few key nutrients to keep in mind – protein, fiber and fats. Protein and fats help keep us full, regulate our blood sugar and fuel our bodies until our next meal or snack. Fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help with satiety (fullness) and promote healthy digestion, too. Breakfast is also a great opportunity to incorporate dairy, which provides calcium to build strong bones. For kids and teenagers, the recommendation for milk or yogurt consumption is 2-3 cups per day.
- Fiber and whole grains – Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, tortillas, English muffins, waffles, pancakes, fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals (look for varieties with 5 grams of fiber or more and less than 10 grams of sugar)
- Protein and fats – Milk, soy milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, beans, cottage cheese, nitrate-free Canadian bacon, deli ham, turkey sausage, bacon, avocado, nut butters and cream cheese
Tips to consider:
- Make breakfast ahead of time and freeze individually
- Prepare for breakfast the night before
- Wake up 5-10 minutes earlier to make time for breakfast
- Choose grab-and-go items
- Whole grain frozen waffles topped with peanut butter and fruit
- Greek yogurt mixed with berries and whole grain cereal
- Whole wheat toast topped with mashed avocado, a hard-boiled egg and fruit
- Plain oatmeal mixed with banana and peanut butter
- Vegetable and cheese omelet with whole wheat toast and fruit
- Half of a whole wheat bagel topped with cream cheese, turkey sausage and fruit