Breakfast can boost kids’ academic grades

Breakfast can boost kids’ academic grades



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It is easy to let breakfast fall low in your list of priorities, but taking just a few minutes to have something to eat can really make a difference to your day.
Nutritionists say that though breakfast is not the “ultimate” of all the meals, only a few families stick to having it.
While some believe that eating breakfast makes them put on unnecessary weight; others just do not have the time for it before they head for work.
This “unhealthy culture” also affects children, as their parents hurriedly prepare them for school without bothering to give them breakfast. In the place of breakfast and perhaps for their children not to be late for school, parents just offer them lunch packs.
Reasons why many care less about the first meal of the day are, indeed, endless.
Nutritionists warn that not breaking the night fast is very dangerous to all aspects of our health and
well-being.
Omolayo notes that food eaten in the morning restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is necessary for the brain to function.
She says, “Breakfast is the meal that provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast – that is the idea of the name breaking the fast. When you do not eat in the morning, you are effectively running on empty stomach. It is akin to trying to start the car without petrol.
“Eating breakfast improves your memory and concentration levels. It can as well make you happier as it boosts your mood and lowers stress levels.”
On why eating breakfast is important for everyone, especially for children, Omolayo says studies show that kids who eat in the morning have higher grades in school than those who do not.
She adds that children who have breakfast grow healthier when compared to their counterparts who do not.
She explains, “The explanation is pretty simple, just like any organ in the body, the brain needs energy which comes through food to work at its best. Through good diet also, children get the nutrients they need to grow.
“Children do not store up as much calories as adult do, so they need to eat early in the morning to help them function well all through the day. Without this, they can get cranky and thus throw tantrums.”
She adds that people’s energy needs vary depending on their lifestyle and age bracket, hence growing children, who are more active, require a lot of energy.
To those who see eating in the morning as a weight loss strategy, sorry to burst your bubble, skipping breakfast actually makes you put on weight. The logic, according to Omolayo, is that you eat more during the day and late into the night trying to compensate for not eating in the morning.
She notes, “Research shows those who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight and more likely to be within their ideal weight range compared with breakfast skippers. If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to reach for high sugar and fatty foods during the day adding more calories than you need. If you are looking to trim your waistline, don’t miss breakfast too.”
Experts at the National Health Institute, United States of America, after several studies and research say that eating breakfast has long term health benefits which include lowering one’s risks of obesity, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes.
They advise parents to make breakfast an excellent occasion to eat together as a family when possible.
The NHS states, “Establishing good breakfast habits in childhood and maintaining them throughout adolescence may be an important factor in reducing the prevalence of breakfast skipping and developing good eating habits that last a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, are you at a loss as to what to put on the table every morning, here are some energy boosting foods that is good for the whole family. Try them this weekend.
Eggs
Eggs are an amazing breakfast for children. Filling them up on protein will keep them full all morning. Scrambled eggs are a fast and tasty way to get breakfast on the table. If you are really pressed for time, consider boiling eggs the night before. A hard boiled egg is “fast food” because they can eat it running out of the door. A little sprinkle of salt and pepper is all it takes to flavour this healthy food. Serve it with a slice of toast for a full meal.
Homemade oatmeal
Oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast. Your children will love the comforting flavours of this staple. Skip the heavily processed oatmeal that comes in individual portions. Cooking oatmeal from scratch is quick and simple. Steel cut oatmeal is the healthiest choice because it’s the least processed. However, it takes the longest cooking time. Soak the oats overnight to make them cook up quickly. You can also make a huge batch of oatmeal on the weekend and portion it out on the weekdays.
Yogurt
Yogurt is a great way for kids to get ample protein early in the day. Greek yogurt is thick and full of protein and calcium. It’s a better choice than some of the other types which may have very low protein amounts. Sweeten the yogurt up with a little honey and top with fresh fruit and granola. Be careful when buying or making granola- it is easy for granola to have a high fat content as it’s baked with butter or oil. Look for low fat varieties and always check the nutrition label.

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