With back to school season upon us, and new routines waiting in the wings, it’s a great time to think and talk about the importance of breakfast. When it comes to child nutrition, there is much to consider from instilling healthy eating habits early to ensuring your child is getting all the vitamins and nutrients needed to properly grow, feel well, and ultimately lead a healthy life.
We’ve all heard it said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day; but also sometimes that first meal of the day proves difficult to prioritize, especially when school is in session. (Thoughts and prayers to all our fellow parents.) Getting up, dressed, teeth brushed, lunches packed, and everyone out the door on time can be taxing to say the least! Sometimes the thought of adding a balanced meal to that living circus feels laughable to parents. That said, eating breakfast does have great benefits for children.
How Does Breakfast Benefit Kids?
Breakfast helps give kids energy they need for the day. Breakfast also plays a role in child nutrition, providing another chance for them to consume key nutrients needed for proper growth– from calcium to healthy fats and complex carbohydrates, these elements are vital for children. Kids also don’t think the same way adults do. You might say, ‘oh, I’ll just grab something to eat after my mid morning meeting,’ but children can’t hold off in that same regard. Hunger affects their behaviors, ability to focus, and can also make them feel sleepy and cranky.
All this said, it’s easy to give your kids granola bars or pastries or cereal for breakfast, but it’s a much better idea to steer them toward healthier options and breakfast meals that offer up more nutritional value. Think protein and calcium. Eggs. Yogurt. Fruit. Things that will actually give them fuel for the day instead of just a quick, carby fix. For a little first meal inspo, check out these 25 healthy breakfast ideas developed with kids in mind.
National Better Breakfast Month We’re also coming up on National Better Breakfast Month, celebrated all through the month of September. So there was really never a better time than to start incorporating some healthier habits for your family, especially at the onset of the new school year. Here are a few tips for celebrating Better Breakfast Month with your family:
- Work up a meal plan.– Work on a meal plan with your kids mapping out ideas for the week that incorporate healthy breakfasts. You’ll be surprised at how helpful it is to think ahead!
- Let the kids help cook!– Grab the aprons, and let your kids help prepare meals. This will help get them invested in the idea of healthy eating, while also inspiring some responsibility.
- Prep breakfast ahead of time.– Incorporating healthy, cook-ahead breakfast recipes is a time saver, and also helps keep you and yours on track with eating healthier meals rather than just grabbing whatever is most accessible on the way out the door.
However you breakfast, just remember that this important meal can help your kids focus, learn healthy eating habits early, and grow up strong! If you have questions or concerns about child nutrition, be sure to chat with our providers at PM Pediatrics on your next visit. Our after hours urgent care pediatricians are more than happy to help you however they can. As always, get in touch with our team for after hours urgent care in lieu of an ER visit, or get your sports physical here during the flurry of back-to-school prep.