Importance of Breakfast

Is it true what they say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? It seems the hype is true! So, start cracking those eggs, stir those oats, and blend those smoothies! Children who eat breakfast tend to have more energy throughout the day, are able to concentrate and do better in school and some even make healthier food choices throughout the day. Even if the morning seems rushed, spending a few moments to put together a healthy breakfast can make all the difference—for you, and your kids!

Importance of a Healthy Breakfast

After a long night of sleeping and your body in a state of fasting for 7-9 hours, breakfast is your body’s and brains wake up call and fuel! It all makes sense now—breakfast, break-fast, break-the-fast, get it? Since this is the first thing that will be entering our bodies, it is crucial that we provide it with sufficient nutrients to keep it a well-oiled machine.  Breakfast foods should contain a good source of protein, fat, fibre and plenty of vitamins and minerals that come from whole food sources. When we get essential nutrients early in the day, our bodies run more smoothly, and we are more likely to make better food choices throughout the day. In children, a healthy breakfast has been linked to improved behaviour, cognition, energy, mood, and overall grades. Not only does eating a healthy breakfast have an immediate impact on our health, it can also have long-term impacts. It can help to reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol, the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

So, what’s a non-healthy breakfast? A non- healthy breakfast can be those that are void of nutrients and are highly processed. Usually found in boxes or bags at your local grocery store, and contain many additives, artificial colours and artificial flavours. Many people believe that breakfast cereals are a good choice for children and adults alike, but the reality is that these cereals are highly processed and usually contain artificial colours and flavours!  READ THE CEREAL BOX LABELS CAREFULLY!  Breakfast cereals contain refined grains and loads of sugar! Yikes! I mean, we don’t give our children candy for breakfast, so why give them sugar filled cereal?  So serve oatmeal or low-sugar, high-fiber and high-protein options and add your own sweetness with fresh fruit, dried fruits like raisins, dried cranberries or mango, and a handful of chia seeds, pumpkin seeds or nuts!

Fruit juices may seem like a good option for our kids since it’s made from fruit, right? Unfortunately, many of the fruit juices on the market, even those that say 100% fruit juice, contain high amounts of sugar, some even contain similar amount to soda. Fresh squeeze those old clementines, or make a smoothie from frozen fruit or the ones going off at the bottom of the fridge.

Pancakes and waffles are also a popular option for breakfast time, especially on the weekend. Although not as bad as some of the other conventional breakfast items, they are high in refined flour which may lead to obesity. Plus, who doesn’t have pancakes and waffles with syrup? This syrup is mainly made with high-fructose corn syrup which is known to cause insulin resistance and inflammation in the body.    So make them with whole grain flours to get your fiber and vitamins, and sweeten with real maple syrup & berries and top with vanilla greek yogurt for protein.   YUM-MY!