Eat a Better Breakfast Month
September is “Eat a Better Breakfast Month”; most of us have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Alisa Bar-Daya, a Registered Dietitian at The Specialty Food Shop located in Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto, reports the following:
A six-year study compared the mental and physical efficiency of a group of adults throughout the day, some of whom ate healthy, nutritious breakfasts while others did not. When compared to those who ate breakfast, the people who did not became less efficient as the day went on. Their productivity improved after eating lunch, but by the end of the day their work completion was slower than those who had eaten breakfast.
For children, a good breakfast is even more important. Children who do not eat a good breakfast become tired in school and have shorter attention spans, especially late in the morning. In one study, test scores of children who did not eat breakfast were generally lower than those who had eaten a well-balanced morning meal. Another good reason to make sure that children have a balanced breakfast is that four out of five children do not get enough vitamins and minerals from lunch and dinner alone. By adding breakfast, children are more likely to get the vitamins and minerals they need. Also, children who don’t eat a good breakfast tend to eat more junk food during the day -- snacks that are high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value.
If your child isn’t hungry for breakfast first, have them drink a glass of liquid such as water or orange juice. This will help increase their appetite. If he/she is not used to eating breakfast, you can start by having them eat a small amount at first and then have the rest of the meal mid-morning. As your child gets used to eating breakfast, slowly increase the amount of food he/she eats in the early morning. A good breakfast should include food from 3 of the 4 food groups. If mornings are rushed prepare breakfast the night before and keep convenient foods handy such as yogurt, cheese, cut up fruit, instant oatmeal.
Children often learn most by example, so it's important for parents to set a good example and have a nutritious breakfast each day. Start the school year off right by sending your child to school with a healthy breakfast.
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Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.
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Thank you in advance for sharing this monthly message with your networks.
Amie M. Hendrix
Tompkins County Youth Services Department
320 W. MLK Jr./State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850