The Importance of Breakfast

6/6/2019 | Alyssa Bosse, RDN, LD

Rise and Shine - but don’t forget to dine! Research shows that children who eat a balanced breakfast perform better in school and have more control over their hunger the rest of the day, meaning less likely to overeat at other meals and snacks.

Why do kids and teens skip breakfast? 

Skipping breakfast can be common for children and teens for a variety of reasons. Have you heard your child say any of these before? If so, we have some tips to help overcome these barriers. 

Common Reason #1 - I don’t have time in the morning!

  • Eating breakfast doesn’t have to match that picture perfect movie scene where everyone is passing around pancakes, scrambled eggs and sipping a glass of OJ.
  • It can be as simple as grab and go options like granola bars or fruit. Pair one of these with a healthy protein like peanut butter or an egg for a balanced meal.

Common Reason #2 - I’m not hungry!

  • For some children it may be hard to build up the habit of eating in the morning if he or she isn’t used to it.
  • If you’re starting from scratch, sometimes it helps to wait a little bit after waking up for your appetite to develop.
  • Try taking some of the grab and go options mentioned above and pack in the backpack to eat on the ride to school.
  • For an even more convenient option, check out the breakfast options at the school cafeteria.
  • Many schools offer fruit, peanut butter, granola bars, cereal and milk to purchase before classes start.


Common Reason #3 - Breakfast foods aren’t healthy.

  • For any meal to be healthy, it has to have a variety of food groups. Ideally pairing a protein food with a fiber food will help sustain those energy levels until lunch.
  • Here are some examples: fruit in yogurt; oatmeal made with milk; peanut butter spread onto fresh fruit; trail mix with nuts and dried fruit.
  • Cereal is another go to, but some brands marketed towards children are high in added sugars.
  • To make a healthier choice, try adding in sugar sweetened cereal as a half-and-half mixture, this will bump up the regular cereal in flavor but not overload the meal with added sugar. Another option is to use fresh or dried fruit as a natural sweetener in your cereal.
  • Also, be sure to check the fiber content on the nutrition label and look for the first word in the ingredient list as “Whole”, indicating this cereal has whole grains (ex. whole oat, whole wheat, etc.).

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