Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. It not only provides children with important daily requirement of nutrients like protein, fibre, calcium and carbohydrates, but also improves their mental performance and gives them the energy needed to start the day.
Skipping breakfast can have serious consequences on your child’s weight, energy levels and even their blood sugar. Not only does it affect their metabolism, but can lead to weight gain and induce sluggishness.
Eating a low-glycemic and balanced breakfast increase concentration levels of children as compared to kids who eat a carb-heavy breakfast or no breakfast. It is also important to regulate what and how much your child eats for breakfast to maintain a healthy weight. Children who skip breakfast in the morning are more likely to overeat during the day and that can increase their BMI.
While eating even a little amount of breakfast is better than eating no breakfast at all, you need to make smart choices. Cards-only breakfasts, such as paranthas and bread, can give energy for short periods. So it is important to have a balanced breakfast that provides required amount of protin, fat and carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels steady for hours.
Give your child some toast with peanut butter and a piece of fruit or cereal with milk and glass of 100 natural fruit juice without added sugar. An omelette with cheese and veggies like broccoli is another good option.
There are certain other factors to keep in mind for maintaining your child’s other physical and mental wellness, while making breakfast for him /her.
Avoid too much salt: Quick-fix meals like masala oats, instant noodles, pre-packaged foods are usually loaded with sat. Sodium in salt induces water retention giving a feeling of being bloated right at the start of the day.
Don’t skip vegetables: Eggs, cereal, milk, fruits, bread, paranthas are the usual choices. However, vegetables can be a perfect option for a healthy breakfast. These are naturally low in calories, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These are fibre-rich and can keep children feeling full for longer.
Encourage good sleeping habits: Missing even a single night of sleep can disturb your child’s appetite and hormones. Every night of poor sleep makes any human being feel hungry the next morning. Make sure the child gets adequate sleep every night. Be a good role model.
Don’t encourage eating while watching TV: Children need to eat slowly and chew every bite consciously rather than focus on any other activity while eating. Children glued to the TV or other devices during meals cannot not enjoy the flavour and texture of the food they are eating. They are not even conscious about the size of portions they are eating.
Watch your child’s fibre intake: Even though fibre is essential, having a large portion of fibre in one sitting can leave the body feeling bloated and flatulent. Ensure your child has plenty of water to drink to clear out the digestive tract.