Preparing a healthy breakfast for your children is a great way to start their day. The good news is, nutritious meals are not necessarily complicated to prepare. A good serving of fruit, cereals, bread and meat can provide them with the necessary energy to start their day right.
Why eat breakfast?
children who eat breakfast tend to participate in healthy activities. Physical activity keeps weight in check which in turn helps the body’s metabolism. children who don’t eat breakfast may consume more calories within the day by snacking on high calorie food or overeating at lunch. Breakfast also gives them the energy for learning which will be difficult on an empty stomach.
Best Healthy Breakfast Options for Children
Bacon and Eggs – Who doesn’t like bacon and eggs? Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamin B, Vitamin E, iron and zinc. Building healthy muscles, promoting healthy metabolism and boosting the immune system are just some of the benefits children can enjoy when having these nutrients for breakfast. As for bacon, yes it’s a bit fatty but some natural fats are perfectly fine in a balanced diet. If you’re concerner, you can trim the fat down before cooking.
Waffles or pancakes – While there is an ongoing debate on what makes a waffle different from a pancake, both recipes are great breakfast items. Waffles made from whole grain flour are a great source of fibre and carbohydrates. The eggs and milk, ingredients common to both waffles and pancakes, are great sources of protein. Serve with fruit or jams that are low in or sugar free. Here’s how to make waffles and pancakes.
Muffins – Avoid high calorie mega sized muffins. Choose muffins made with fruit like banana nut muffins rich in vitamin E and iron as well as B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and essential minerals. Use enriched all-purpose flour to get thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. These 3 vitamins function as co-enzymes that ensure digested food is converted to energy. How to prepare a banana nut muffin.
Fruits – Fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals and protect the body from chronic diseases and vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. Fruits like cranberries, citrus and strawberries contain phytochemicals that offer added health benefits. Fruits like bananas contain potassium that reduce the risk of heart disease. Serve as is or mix into wonderful smoothies. Here’s how to make a healthy pomegranate orange smoothie your children will love.
Oatmeal – A bowl of oatmeal can provide children with their required dietary intake of fibre and iron. It can also provide small amounts of magnesium, thiamine and riboflavin. Niacin promotes digestion, healthy skin and nerves. If your children do not take to plain oatmeal, try adding dried fruits like raisins. Slices of banana or apples can also enhance the flavour of oatmeal. Honey can provide natural sweetness which children will definitely love. Here’s how to prepare oatmeal with mango and coconut.
Bread – Gluten Free – Making bread with your children can be a fun experience. Bread contains fibre, protein and carbohydrates plus vitamins and minerals. It is a good source of energy for growing children. Choose whole grain over white or processed grain and gluten free bread is also a great option. White or processed grains have less nutritional value than whole grains because its bran was removed during processing and this is where most nutrients are. Here’s how to make Honey Whole wheat bread recipe.
Porridge – Children who eat porridge perform better in school. Porridge consists of any type of crushed grain. Eating porridge on a regular basis offers a good source of fibre, iron magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B and phytochemicals. Fibre improves digestion and helps stabilize blood sugar. Fibre rich foods are low in calories but high in volume. This helps your children stay full and reduce their amount of food consumption throughout the day. How to make the best breakfast porridge ever.
Milk – Milk is a good source of calcium, protein and vitamin D. Children who are picky eaters may need to find alternative sources of protein and calories. Milk is one of the best ways to get these nutrients. children need fat for nerve and brain development. Some children may not like milk. Don’t push them. There are other healthy sources of calcium and protein that they might enjoy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children switch from whole milk to non-fat/low fat milk starting at the age of two.
Cookies – Not all cookies are made equal. Watch out for the common boxed breakfast cookies as they do not offer a healthy balance of nutrients. Choose cookies that offer quality fats and proteins. Make your own breakfast cookie with well-chosen organic ingredients. Here’s how to make convenience food without being guilty. How to make the breakfast cookie.
Yoghurt – Yep, yoghurt can be good for children. Children who are picky eaters will enjoy yoghurt with granola or blueberry. Yoghurt has calcium, protein and carbohydrates. Place the yoghurt in a pretty glass together with other ingredients and it will look more like dessert than breakfast. Kids who do not like milk can enjoy yoghurt as an alternative source of calcium and protein. Here’s how to make yoghurt and granola parfait.