Finding the time to feed your kids breakfast can be a challenge. In fact, about 1 in 7 Aussie kids head into school with an empty stomach. Let’s take a moment, if their last meal was dinner at 7pm last night, that’s over 12 hours of running on empty when their growing bodies urgently need refuelling. What better way to kick start their day (and break that fast) than with a wholesome breakfast?
Kids who skip breakfast are more likely to struggle to concentrate in class and feel more grumpy and restless compared to their peers who have tucked into breakfast. When kids skip breakfast, they aren’t just missing out on refuelling their energy stores, but also the opportunity to get many important nutrients too. Put simply, kids who eat breakfast are more likely to meet their daily nutritional requirements for growth and development. Aside from these nutritional benefits, breakfast also plays a crucial role in healthy weight maintenance. If your child is skipping breakfast, they will be more likely to crave high energy foods throughout the morning, which will make sugary and moreish fatty foods even more appealing to them.
What is a healthy breakfast?
The foundation of a healthy breakfast involves selecting foods or ingredients that provide long-lasting carbs, fibre and protein. Wholegrains are a great morning source of long-lasting carbs and fruit and veggies for fibre, which will keep them fuller for longer, prevent blood sugar spikes and provide kids with sustaining energy for school and play.
What if my kids don’t have an appetite in the morning?
Even if your kids are not overly hungry in the morning, it is important to try and get them to eat something before they go to school. However, we recommend letting them decide what and how much they eat as they tend to have a good ability to self regulate. There could be many reasons why your kids don’t feel like eating in the morning, such as sleeping or eating too late or too much food the night before. Try setting a night time routine – having an earlier dinner, enjoying smaller portions and making the bedtime curfew a little earlier. You might be surprised how much this affects your child’s appetite and energy levels the next morning!
5 easy and healthy breakfast ideas
To help you on your morning mission, we’ve come up with 5 easy and healthy breakfast ideas to excite your child’s taste buds! What’s more ? These ideas can be quickly prepared the night before or in the morning.
Whip up a breakfast frittata by combining eggs, milk, cheese and whatever vegetables you have lying around and cook on the stove top until the egg mixture is just set. Make frittatas in advance and simply heat them up in the morning for a super speedy brekkie. Not only are they loaded with calcium and protein for strong bones and muscles (thanks to the eggs and dairy), but finely chopping the veggies even the pickiest of kids will fancy these sneaky slices. Slide it between two slices of wholegrain bread for a frittata toastie twist.
- Banana pancakes
For something a little sweeter, mash up ripe bananas, eggs, wholemeal flour and a little baking powder and ladle up! Get creative (and sneaky) with savoury options such as grated zucchini and carrot (the kids will never know)! These healthy breakfast pancakes provide a great energy boost and contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B for energy and potassium for healthy muscles.
- Breakfast parfait
All you need is low fat Greek or natural yoghurt, muesli or rolled oats and their favourite fruits. Layer them up into jars or containers and stash in the fridge for busy mornings. Get your kids involved in the preparation, decorate their jars and get them excited about eating them the next morning.
- Savoury muffins
Making these are bound to provide some good fun in the kitchen with your kids. Use a wholemeal flour base, cottage cheese, any leftover vegetables like pumpkin, tomatoes and zucchini and bake. Pop them in the fridge overnight and serve cold or warmed in the morning. This is an ideal option if your children don?t have a large appetite in the morning.
- Overnight Oats
Once the rave of the brekkie world, these time-savers are super easy to make. Soak rolled oats in Greek or natural yoghurt and milk and store in the fridge overnight. When morning comes, add nuts, seeds and fruit and enjoy a quick, filling breakfast ready in a matter of minutes.
Anna and Alex are the Accredited Practising Dieticians behind The Biting Truth. The Biting Truth’s mission is to empower individuals with the knowledge and confidence to make better health and food choices. They use innovative techniques to translate complex science into practical information.