Studies show that children who eat breakfast tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and better test scores (up to 18 percent higher). They are also less likely to be overweight. However, an estimated 40 percent of children do not eat any, or an adequate, breakfast each morning.
Quick and easy breakfast ideas:
- Cheese slices served on whole-grain toast
- Iron-fortified cereal and milk topped with fruit and low-fat yogurt
- Peanut butter spread on whole-grain toast or waffle or rolled inside a whole-wheat tortilla
- A whole-wheat pita stuffed with sliced hard-cooked eggs
- Fruit such as bananas, strawberries or raisins and milk on instant oatmeal
- A breakfast smoothie (milk or yogurt, fruit and teaspoon of bran, whirled in a blender)
- Lean turkey on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin
- A bran muffin and low-fat yogurt with berries
- A hard-boiled egg, served on a toasted whole-wheat bagel, topped with shredded cheddar cheese
More tips to ensure that your kids get a good breakfast:
- Prepare as much as you can the night before. Gets the plates and utensils ready, place fresh fruit in a bowl, etc.
- Get your children up earlier. Some kids skip breakfast because they aren’t hungry when they wake up in the morning. Get them up them up 10-15 minutes and have them perform their chores (such as walking the dog) to work up an appetite.
- Let your children help plan for and prepare breakfast. Give your kids some leeway to make their own choices. However, avoid sugary cereals.
- Make it a competition. Give out points to those who finish their meals and let them accumulate toward an ultimate prize such as a night at the movies or a gift card.
- Have grab-and-go alternatives. Make sure you keep fresh fruit, individual boxes of cereal, yogurt or trail-mix on hand for days when there is little or no time to eat.