Planning Healthy Breakfasts for School Days

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Everyone knows that the before school breakfast is absolutely the most important meal of the day. This is the first food your child will have eaten since dinner last night. The tank is officially empty until you put breakfast on the table and in their mouths. This is why breakfast should be the biggest meal that you eat every day. It needs to backfill the hole left by a good night's sleep while preparing you to face the day ahead. No other meal should carry this kind of weight and accordingly, lunch is smaller than breakfast and dinner is smaller than lunch.

How Much Food Should Your Child Have?

When you plan your child's breakfast, you first need to take into account their daily nutritional needs. Children over seven should have approximately 2,200 calories a day. One third to one half of those calories should be a part of your child's breakfast. Properly distributed among the correct food groups those calories will keep your child moving from the breakfast table to the lunch break.

This is important because studies suggest that children who go to school hungry perform poorly and eat more calories in their day than children who eat a proper breakfast. Teachers often cover heavy hitting subjects like arithmetic in the morning and underfed children lack the resources they need perform at their best.

What Kind of Foods Should Your Child Have?

A proper breakfast meets all your child's morning nutritional needs. Nutritious breakfast options include a variety of foods from the important food groups including:

* Grains
* Fruits and vegetables
* Dairy
* Meat

Fruit and vegetables provide necessary vitamins and minerals while complex carbohydrates offer a sustained energy burn that will keep your child going until lunch. A sugary breakfast will only get your child from the table to the classroom. Dairy and meat provide more appropriate sources of immediate energy.

Breakfast Ideas for You and Your Family

It can be difficult to make sure that your family has the time for a full breakfast in the rush of the morning, but it is worth it. One way to make it a little easier is to plan your meals an evening ahead and set out non-perishable ingredients. Healthy breakfast ideas for your children include:

* Eggs – scrambled, dippy, hard boiled, however they will eat them
* Fruit smoothies – add healthy greens like spinach or kale
* Fruit parfaits
* French toast, waffles, or pancakes made with whole grains
* Hot cereals like oatmeal with dried or fruit and / or nuts on top
* Bananas and peanut butter rolled in whole wheat tortillas
* Cottage cheese with fruit and / or honey on top
* Whole-wheat toast with peanut or any nut butter

These are just a few ideas. Whatever else you do make sure that you steer away from simple sugars and fatty foods when you plan your child's breakfast. Though breakfast is a great time to eat high calorie foods, too much sugar and fat will only drag your child down during the day, where as a great breakfast will pave the way for a great day. 

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