It’s back to school time. Whether your child is just starting preschool or is a teenager, whether school has started again already or not, it’s time to get into school mode. All parents want their children to succeed at school, and there’s a simply way to help them do this.
Eating a healthy breakfast will help your child to do better at school, establish healthy lifestyle habits, and be healthier. Children who eat a good breakfast will concentrate and learn better. To read more about the benefits of breakfast for students, click here.
Here are some ideas to help you to feed your child a healthy breakfast every morning before school.
Most kids will get bored of eating Cheerios every single morning. To encourage children to eat a good breakfast, have a variety of foods, and let them help pick out breakfast foods. Also, be flexible. If your kid asks for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, there’s no reason not to let them have it.
2. Make Time
If you’re always in a rush to get out of the door in time, then it’ easy to skip breakfast. Even if it means waking up five minutes earlier, it’s important to eat breakfast. Sitting down to eat breakfast with your child or children can make not only a nutritious start to the day, but also create a special time for the two of you to share.
Here are some examples of healthy breakfast meals that your child might enjoy.
Although cereal can be high in sugar and salt, some cereals are highly fortified and actually very nutritious. Plus, they’re high in carbohydrates (brain food) and fiber, which helps to fill them up until lunchtime. Read the labels and pick fortified cereals that are low in sugar and salt. For extra nutrition, cut up a banana into their bowl of cereal, or spread some berries on it.
Especially teenagers might not want to eat a real breakfast, but will accept a drink. A smoothie can make a healthy breakfast. I like making mine with lots of fresh fruit, ice, yoghurt, and smooth tofu (for protein). For some sample smoothie recipes, click here.
Wholemeal toast is a good choice for breakfast, and you can alternate it with lots of nutritious toppings. You can have it simply with jam, or top with an egg or baked beans (both good sources of protein). Have toast with a slice of cheese on it, or peanut butter. If your kids insist on white bread, you can now buy half and half breads that look and taste more like white bread, but are made with a mixture so that they have some of the higher nutritional value of wheat.
Try making your own pancakes for breakfast (you can make the batter the night before and store in the fridge to speed things up in the morning). For healthier options, use wholemeal flour and toss in some oats. I like wholemeal pancakes with oats and blackberries in them, but experiment to find your family’s favourite. Young kids love pancakes, especially if you cook them in Mickey Mouse shapes, or drizzle the batter in letter shapes.
If you use these ideas, you will help your child to eat a good breakfast before school, and therefore have a better school year. Good luck.