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Importance of Healthy Breakfast for Children

breakfast 300x201 Importance of Healthy Breakfast for ChildrenParents, listen up: a good breakfast is a prerequisite to learning. Nutritious meals in the morning are essential for children to perform well in school and have active social lives as they grow up. Breakfast provides at least a quarter of a child’s energy for the day. Thus, if breakfast were missed, the child will be less alert and his learning potential substantially diminished.

When an inadequately nourished kid goes to school, he is likely to be more irritable and anxious, less inquisitive, tires quicker, less physically active, and not very sociable. Children who have empty, rumbling stomachs certainly will find it difficult to concentrate on their lessons.

On top of ensuring a full stomach, it is important to give children the right kind of foods at breakfast, since not all foods are created equal.

A healthy meal for children at the start of the day will positively impact learning. Studies have shown that students who have a nutritious breakfast have higher test scores and have generally better  performance than their counterparts who didn’t eat breakfast.

A healthy breakfast contains complex carbohydrates in the form of grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, cereals, proteins from meats, beans and nuts; fiber and vitamins from fruits and vegetables; and calcium and other minerals from milk, cheese and yogurt.

Fiber from complex carbohydrates creates the feeling of fullness, thereby ensuring mental alertness, while the glucose that you get from this food group is used by the brain as fuel during mental activity.

Researchers on a study of oatmeal, which is a prime example of food with  high complex carbohydrates, compared the effects of eating oatmeal or cereal at breakfast or having no breakfast at all, on the cognitive performance of 30 middle-income students. Over a three-week time frame, the students were asked to take tests minutes after eating their assigned breakfast. Those who didn’t have breakfast were also asked to take the mental examination.

The first study found out that among children ages six to eight, spatial memory skills (which are essential for subjects like math and geography) increased by almost 50% after eating oatmeal for breakfast as compared to having no breakfast at all. Forty-six percent of the children also improved their skills after eating oatmeal compared to when they ate cereals.

The second study found out that among children ages nine to 11 years old, 68 percent performed better when they ate oatmeal compared to those who didn’t have any breakfast.

The study cited the whole grain, high fiber, and high protein content of oatmeal as significantly affecting spatial memory performance. The study revealed that oatmeal, which is slow and continued release of glucose into the bloodstream and enhances cognitive performance.

Other emerging research confirms that oatmeal, or complex carbohydrates -in general, are best for the brain because they contain fiber that resists digestion, slowing its breakdown and the subsequent release of sugars into the bloodstream. This slow and even absorption of sugar is highly beneficial to the brain, as it performs better on a minimal yet constant supply of sugar.

So if you’re a parent planning a healthy breakfast menu for your children, don’t fail to include oatmeal into the diet. Oats, in almost all forms—rolled, old-fashioned, quick cooking, and even instant, is readily available for that hearty bowl of oatmeal or as ingredient to great-tasting and nutrition-packed recipes.

One Response to “Importance of Healthy Breakfast for Children”

  1. Alfonzo Tamlin says:

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    See ya


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