What if parents could give their kids a magical pill in the morning to make them healthy, well-behaved and smart in school? For such a pill, it would be flying off the shelf of a local pharmacy. While there are no such pills, there is something powerful: breakfast. Research confirms breakfast being the most important meal for everybody, not just kids. It boosts children’s health, academic achievement, cognitive development, and mental health.
A new study in Singapore reveals that 1 in 3 primary school children in the country skips breakfast once a week, and this deprives them of the most significant benefits the morning meal plays. Over 30 years of credible research has demonstrated healthy breakfast’s impact on brain function and energy levels for school-aged children.
Skipping Breakfast Before School
A planned breakfast each morning results to higher school attendance rate, fewer visits to the school nurse for stomach complaints caused by hunger. Conversely, in a school setting, kids who struggle with hunger may face:
• Slower recall
• Loss of attention
• Diminishing academic performance
• Difficulty getting along with other kids
• Aggression and anxiousness issues
• Behavioral and emotional difficulties
• Frequent and increased illness, with a longer recovery time, leading to increased tardiness and absence.
The Power of Breakfast Before School
Breakfast is an excellent way to refuel the body ready for the day activities after not eating for 6 to 12 hours during sleep. Skipping the morning meal makes kids feel tired, irritable, and restless.
Kids who regularly have the morning meal are ready to partake in physical activities. Kids’ energy and mood drop by midmorning after a missed breakfast and thus adversely affect their studies.
Breakfast also keeps kids’ weight in check, by kick-starting body’s metabolism, thus burning calories. Missing breakfast results to consuming extra calories during the day, resulting in kids becoming overweight. Typically a when the kids skip breakfast, they get famished in the midmorning eating on high-calorie meals all day long.
Many Benefits of Breakfast
1. Breakfast equals better behavior and emotions
We already know that kids who skip breakfast are more tired, irritable, and restless by late morning. This can result in aggression that places kids in trouble in school. The morning meal is the key to having a better attitude toward school.
Breakfast equals higher test scores
Archives of Pediatric study showed that’s scores obtained a higher maths score after having breakfast. The same reason why math and sciences set for morning classes, this and other research has clearly demonstrated how regular breakfast is significant for academic success.
Breakfast equals better class attendance
The morning meal fosters kids’ school attendance and less time in the nurse’s office for a stomach problem. Missing breakfast causes kids to get get tardier than other kids who take breakfast.
Breakfast boosts nutritious intake
Kids’ breakfast is a superb source for vitamins and mineral requirement preventing deficiencies, but with no breakfast, the body has no source of nutrients for later in the day.
Creating healthy habits in your children
Encouraging the kid to have breakfast, and evaluating argument for avoiding breakfast such as lack of time, distaste for breakfast food and absence of hunger parent should find a way around them and ensure the children have their breakfast each morning.
Why do Kids Not Eat Breakfast?
There are many reasons for a child not consuming breakfast regularly, including but not limited to:
• Morning schedules too busy
• Late for school due to bus and carpool schedules
• Not being hungry in the morning
• Eager to play and socialize instead of eating breakfast
• Social stigma-only low-income children eat breakfast in the cafeteria.
Thankfully, whether at home or school, there are proven methods and practices for dramatically increase participation in breakfast leading to marked benefits for kids and schools. Home tutors recommend the kids have a glass of juice or soft snack with them during the session for better concentration.
Breakfast tips to incorporate kid’s before-school routines
Help inculcate the habit of eating Breakfast by ensuring that:
• The child prepares for school before sleeping (next day’s clothes, lunch and backpack ready).
• Kids get up earlier 15 minutes to have time for breakfast.
• No TV, video games or even computer in the morning.
What the morning meal includes is crucial too. Kids’ breakfast should contain foods rich in whole grain, fiber, and protein, low in added sugar to boost kids’ class attention span, memory and concentration- which kids require in order to succeed in school.
Parents should choose foods that need little preparation (milk, whole grain cereals, instant oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, fresh and canned fruits or cheese). Incorporate eat to run with celery stuffed with dried fruits, cheese, peanut butter. Kids with little hunger in the morning should take juice, milk or fruit smoothie. If the kids still dislike breakfast food make sure they eat something such as cold pizza or leftover chicken. If you can’t make breakfast for your children, you can always grab some Kid-Friendly Breakfast Spots in Singapore.
Lastly, set a good example for your kids by eating breakfast with them. Kids imitate adult’s behavior, thus missing breakfast too they are likely to resist themselves. To encourage kids to eat breakfast parents should have the kid plan the week’s breakfast menu and making breakfast food readily accessible by storing them in lower cabinets where the child can easily access them and having fresh fruit and juice on the counter.
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