Rebecca Meyerson, a certified nutrition counselor and founder of Simply Healthy Living, discusses the importance of breakfast for kids and teens and offers a few easy and quick breakfast ideas.
You probably have heard the statement that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For kids, this is especially true. Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast are more likely to perform better in school and on cognitive tests, and they're more energetic throughout the day.
After your body has fasted for eight to 12 hours, it needs a boost of energy to increase your metabolic rate and help it run smoothly for the rest of day. Skipping breakfast typically causes our bodies to go into starvation mode and can cause subsequent overeating and stress on our bodies. Kids who do not eat breakfast or start the day with meals high in sugar are more likely to snack on junk food as their energy levels drop throughout the day.
Breakfast should always contain protein and a healthy fat. Protein such as eggs and yogurt build and repair muscles, and healthy fats like nuts and avocados burn fat. To accompany their protein and fat intake, at least four grams of fiber will help satiate your child over the course of the day. This combination will effectively buoy brainpower, increase concentration, and improve their mood throughout the day.
What are some good foods to get kids going in the morning?
Some great breakfast options include:
1. Berry breakfast smoothie: Blend 1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen), ¼ cup milk, kefir* or almond milk, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract.
*Kefir is a culture milk product that contains probiotics
2. Eggs: Make an egg omelet, adding in avocado and throwing in any leftover vegetables from the night before. Scrambled, hard-boiled, or over easy eggs are other easy options.
3. Brown rice porridge: Combine leftover brown rice with almond milk or organic soymilk.
4. Oatmeal: Make oatmeal (preferably steel-cut oats) and toss in a handful each of toasted nuts and fresh berries. Season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to taste. Avoid packaged flavored oatmeal that is high in sugar.
5. Toast: Toast a few slices of sprouted whole grain bread and top with a few tablespoons of unsweetened peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.
*When possible, purchase organic yogurt, milk, eggs, and fruits.
Rebecca Meyerson has a master's degree in nutrition, food science, and exercise science. She is a certified nutrition counselor through the American Association of Nutrition Consultants. Meyerson recently founded Simply Healthy Living in Westchester County, New York, with the mission to promote holistic wellness through a balanced lifestyle incorporating super foods, supplementation, and exercise. She counsels adults and children based on their physiological components of health, determined by their genetics, gender, and blood type. Meyerson works with her clients to set goals that are achievable through gradual lifestyle changes. To learn more about her programs, visit www.simplyhealthyliving.org.
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