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University of Missouri Extension is research based information that is relevant, reliable, and responsive to the needs of our clientele. From home finance to nutrition and fitness, to agronomy, farm and business planning, to family dynamics, extension has information for you. The purpose of this blog is to inform and educate the community on programs and information that impacts your daily life. Sharing of this information should steer you in the path of increased knowledge and awareness of where to find answers to your questions.
In recent years even more evidence supports the fact that starting your day with breakfast benefits people of all ages, especially children. Kids who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to be successful in school. According to Lynda Johnson, a University of Missouri Extension nutrition specialist, well-nourished children are ready to learn, have a greater ability to focus on tasks, have better classroom behavior and have improved test scores. Breakfast eaters also tend to have better school attendance, less tardiness and few hunger-induced stomachaches. Teachers say it’s obvious when students skip breakfast.
Breakfast also leads to a healthier weight. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee found evidence that children who do not eat breakfast are at increased risk of being overweight, and the data is stronger for adolescents.
“People think skipping breakfast helps lose weight, however, it actually works just the opposite,” states Johnson. “Breakfast skippers often end up starved, then snack on high calorie foods, or overeat at lunch.”
Eating breakfast is an important life-long health habit for children to learn. Research indicates that “maintainers” – people who lose weight and keep it off for a year or longer – make eating breakfast a high priority. A healthy, high-fiber breakfast is more conducive to weight control than one loaded with fat, sugar and calories.
Why are we so likely to skip breakfast? Johnson suggests the following solutions to typical excuses that may be keeping you or your children from eating a healthy breakfast.
Help your children become self-reliant and responsible by teaching them to prepare their own breakfast. Practice on Saturdays until they can put together a quick, nutritious breakfast during the week. By getting at least 3 food groups (grain, dairy, fruit, for example) in a breakfast meal, children are on their way to getting the important nutrients needed each day. Here are easy kid-pleasing breakfasts to consider:
For another quick breakfast idea, try this Wake Up Shake. Enjoy with whole-wheat toast, a bran muffin or high-fiber trail mix.
Wake Up Shake
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
One serving: 1 cup
Calories per serving: 180
Fat: 1 gram
Exchanges: 1/2 milk, 1 fruit
To view this article online, go to http://missourifamilies.org/features/nutritionarticles/nut410.htm