Why Children and Teens Need to Eat Breakfast
"Your brain (and central nervous system) run on glucose -- that's the fuel you need to think, walk, talk, and carry on any and all activities. Let's say that the last time you eat something at night is at 10 or 11 PM (not optimal, just an example).
The following day, you don't eat breakfast but wait until about noon or so to eat -- you've gone thirteen or fourteen hours with nothing in your system. Your poor brain is surely deprived -- and your body has to work extra hard to break down any stored carbohydrate or turn fat or protein into a usable form for your brain to function. That's a lot to ask for when you're sitting in a classroom, trying to concentrate on reading, or doing any other work.Eating breakfast has been proven to improve concentration, problem solving ability, mental performance, memory, and mood.
You will certainly be at a disadvantage if your classmates have eaten breakfast and you've gone without. On average, they will think faster and clearer, and will have better recall than you. School or work can be tough enough without this extra added pressure.
Breakfast skippers also have a harder time fitting important nutrients into their diet. Many foods eaten at breakfast contain significant amounts of vitamins C and D, calcium, iron, and fiber."
-Alice from www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
What to Eat
- Whole Grain Cereal (avoid sugary cereals!)
- Real Fruit Juice
- Protein Rich Foods (eggs, turkey bacon, nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese)
Do your kids complain of feeling hungry all of the time?
*Include more protein. Sugary foods or foods high in carbohydrates are readily converted to sugar. Protein is converted to usable energy much more slowly and thus keeps us satisfied longer.
Whatever the choice, have them eat something. If you think they're doing fine with no breakfast, just try changing your routine for a week. You'll notice a difference.
They will undoubtedly perform better with some fuel in their system, and, hopefully, become a breakfast believers.
On the Go Snack Ideas
- Whole Grain Crackers
- Squeezable or Small Yogurts
- Fruits (apple, banana, orange)
- Dried Fruits and Nuts
- String Cheeses
- Llow-fat Granola Bars
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Peanut Butter Crackers