Rise and Shine: It's Breakfast Time!

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Most of us already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Beginning your day without breakfast is like trying to fly a kite without any wind. It's hard to get started and even harder to keep going. Breakfast is the first chance your child's developing body and brain has to refuel its glucose levels, (that's the brains basic fuel), after several hours of sleep.

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Here are just a few reasons why your child should eat breakfast:

Studies show that eating breakfast everyday is important in maintaining a healthy body weight. Starting your child's day with a healthy breakfast will also make them less likely to eat high-calorie snacks during the morning.

Eating a well balanced breakfast improves their intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially iron and vitamin C; these nutrients are essential in a balanced diet. In fact, a good breakfast provides one-fourth to one-third of the day's energy and nutrient needs.

Children who eat a healthy breakfast tend to show improved academic performance, longer attention span, better attendance and decreased hyperactivity in school.

Skipping breakfast will often make your child feel tired, restless or irritable by mid-morning. By eating breakfast, your child will have energy throughout the morning and help him/her concentrate better in class. This also means fewer trips to the school nurse's office.

Breakfast can be served hot or cold, sitting down or eaten on-the-run. Breakfast can be a typical breakfast food, or left-overs from dinner the night before. The main point to remember is to include it in your morning routine for both you and your child. A good breakfast is easier than you think. By choosing the right foods, you can feed your child quickly at home or create a brown bag to go.

A nutritious breakfast includes foods from at least three of the five food groups:

Fruit group; fresh whole fruit such as bananas, apples, oranges. Sliced fruit can be added to cereal, yogurt or oatmeal.

Vegetables group; 100% vegetable juice, or mushrooms, asparagus, or green peppers in an omelet.

Grains group; whole-grain breads, dry cereal, bagels, english muffins, flour tortillas, rice.

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