Why is it so important for children to have breakfast in the morning?
There isn't always time in the mornings for a proper breakfast before school. Instead, it is common for children not to eat anything until the first recess. A good breakfast is an essential start to a productive day, however. According to a Forsa survey of 1000 parents in Germany for a German health insurance company, one in seven children leaves the house in the morning on an empty stomach. The same survey found that one in four children has no appetite in the morning. Even more alarming is the fact that 33% of the parents claimed that there was no time for breakfast early in the morning. Read on to find out why breakfast is so important for your kids and what they should ideally be eating.
Breakfast improves concentration
Nutritionists emphasize the importance of breakfast for the powers of concentration. The kids need to be vigilant and alert on the way to school, pay attention in class from the first lesson onwards, be ready for action, and do their best. Children are also slightly irritable and jumpy if they haven't had anything to eat. Breakfast is not just important to set your child up for the day at school, however, but the regular daily ritual of having breakfast with parents and siblings gives a child stability. The child becomes familiar from an early age with a structured routine which prevents situations of stress. It doesn't take a lot of time. If you set the table the evening before, you only need 15 minutes in the morning. It is important to have an atmosphere of harmony – breakfast should be a gentle and agreeable start to the day, so discussions and quarrels should be avoided.
What to eat for breakfast
An ideal breakfast consists of muesli or wholewheat bread. Milk or yogurt are suitable accompaniments. Both give lasting energy and keep us going for several hours. If you chop up some fruit or vegetables into small pieces for your loved ones as well then the breakfast is really balanced and wholesome. Sweet foods and foods which are high in sugar are not beneficial in the morning. Obviously they taste real good but they tend to be counterproductive for concentration. Sugar causes the blood sugar level to rise quickly but it falls back again just as quickly. As a result, it is not long before the children are hungry again. This also makes them tired and lethargic. If your child refuses point-blank to eat anything in the mornings, he or she should at least drink a glass of milk, slightly sweetened cocoa or organic fruit juice.
Mid-morning sandwich or money?
There is often a kiosk or a cafeteria at the school. Therefore many parents give their children money to take to school instead of a sandwich. However, they tend to buy chips and candy in most cases rather than a healthy alternative, such as a sandwich made with wholewheat bread or fruit. Often the sandwich brought from home even lands in the trash can, only to be replaced by these goodies. That is why it is important to give your child something which is healthy and delicious. Sandwiches made with wholewheat bread with a variety of fillings usually go down well. Ask your child what he or she likes and vary the filling and the bread! Give them gherkins, baby carrots or grapes to go with it. Children prefer to eat fruit and vegetables which are cut into bite-sized chunks and will even share them with their classmates. It is important to give them something to drink to go with the sandwich, such as mineral water, fruit juice mixed with sparkling mineral water, or unsweetened tea. As you can see, these little tips can be quite easily incorporated into the day and yet they have an incredible amount of influence on how the day goes – not only for your children! You will notice that the little morning ritual builds up strength and relaxes the tempo. Ready for breakfast... steady... go!