Top it with fresh fruit of any kind

too. The good news: total nutrient intake for the day is usually higher for those who eat a morning meal, especially for children and women. A whole-grain cereal, milk, and citrus juice can provide 100 percent of the vitamin C, 33 percent of the calcium, thiamin, and riboflavin, and a good supply of fiber, iron, folate, and other nutrients for a day. Without a morning meal, breakfast skippers may not make up the missed nutrients.

Breakfast and Learning. Breakfast prepares children and teens to meet the challenges of learning. Those who regularly eat a morning meal tend to perform better in school, often scoring higher on tests. While adults may condition themselves to overcome symptoms caused by breakfast skipping, children cannot. They experience the very real effects of transient, or short-term, hunger.

Nutrition experts note that morning hunger significantly affects learning since it reduces concentration, problem-solving, and muscle coordination. That's especially hard on young children because basic skills—reading, writing, and arithmetic—are often taught first thing in the morning. Consider the long-term effect of transient hunger on learning. When children can't reach their learning potential day after day, they potentially can get further and further behind.

Kids who eat breakfast are more likely to be at school. Stomach aches or hunger pangs, caused by breakfast skipping or skimping, are the main reason for morning visits to the school nurse. And breakfast skippers tend to be tardy or absent from school more often. Breakfast eaters often behave better in school, too.

If your child doesn't eat breakfast at home, encourage school breakfast, if it's available to you. Many schools provide breakfast. For more about school breakfast, see "For Kids Only—Today's School Meals" in chapter 16.

Breakfast for Better Health. Among breakfast benefits: a jump start on fitting enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your day. Orange juice for breakfast offers more than vitamin C; it's also a good source of potassium. Whole-grain and other fiber-rich cereals and breads can boost your fiber and folate intake.

Studies suggest two other reasons for eating breakfast: healthy weight and reduced risk for heart disease. Breakfast eaters are less likely to be overly hungry for mid-morning snacks or lunch; overall they

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