BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day - chances are you have heard this before.
Specifically, when it comes to weight control, hunger management and helping with attention and concentration, breaking the overnight fast is a key dietary habit to establish, particularly for our kids. And now it seems we have another key reason to make sure the kids do not leave the house without breakfast. Recent research from the University of Cardiff has shown that primary school aged children are twice as likely to do better at school when they consume a nutrient rich breakfast.
The study found that students scored 50-100% higher on assessment scores when breakfast was consumed. Even more specifically, the quality of the breakfast was another significant predictor of performance with nutritious foods including wholegrains, dairy and fruits linked to better performance.
The good news is that you do not necessarily need to sit the family down over a hot breakfast every day to reap these academic benefits. Good nutrition can also be quick, easy and child friendly once you know the right mix of foods.
Here are some quick and easy breakfasts for non-breakfast fans.
Whether it is a glass of milk or a fruit smoothie, rest assured that milk is a nutrient rich breakfast choice that will be more than adequate in fuelling a young brain for a few hours until recess or fruit break. If you are super organised, a vege / fruit smoothie is extremely nutritious but even a simple glass of milk will do the trick.
Toast with avocado or peanut butter
Simply teaming a wholemeal or wholegrain slice of toast with a protein rich topping such as cheese, peanut butter or avocado creates a brekkie combo that is significantly more nutritious than toast with sweet spreads and while peanut butter may be a concern at school, if your house does not need to be nut free, 100% nut spread is a highly nutritious food.
A tub of Greek yogurt
While fruit yogurts can be packed with sugar, Greek yogurt is much higher in protein and can be found in convenient squeezie tubes and consumed on the way to school. Another idea is to freeze Greek yoghurt with a little fruit to create a breakfast ice-cream on a stick.
A couple of crackers with cheese
Who said breakfast has to be toast or cereal? Nutritionally a couple of wholegrain crackers teamed with a cheese slice or stick is a good mix of low GI carbs and protein, offering similar nutrients to that of a small serve of breakfast cereal while remaining a quick and easy option to eat on the way to school.
Who does not love a bit of baking? If you like to get into the kitchen you could do a lot worse for breakfast than a fruit muffin or homemade banana bread, particularly when recipes use eggs, wholemeal flour, fruit, nuts and seeds. And these can even be frozen and kept for emergencies when cereal or toast is flatly rejected.