Kids and Breakfast:  What are your kids eating each morning?  By: Joella Baker

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By Joella Baker

My summer camps have been very busy.  Serving nearly 250 kids this summer, I have a great opportunity to talk to the kids about what they eat and when they eat.  In fact, I went as far as to bring a nutritionist in to several of my camps to discuss nutrition and its importance in everyday life and their sports performance. 

Every week at camp, I ask the kids “who ate breakfast today?” I am always amazed at the response and how many kids say they didn’t eat breakfast at all.  Then, I ask what they ate for breakfast.  That is always a shock as well.  I’m always surprised at how little these kids are eating before they leave their house in the morning.  The number one thing that most of the kids say they eat for breakfast is some type of granola bar or protein bar.  I have others that eat a Pop Tart.  It is sad to think these kids are starting their day with an imbalanced diet.

Granted, eating something is better than nothing, but if you want your child to have a great day, it is important they start their day with great food.

When we talk nutrition at camp, I give the kids this analogy.  Pretend your body is like a car.  A car needs fuel to run.  When you wake up in the morning, your fuel tank is empty and your body is dehydrated.  The first thing you should do in the morning is drink a glass of water.  Then you should fill your fuel tank by eating a healthy and balanced breakfast.  Here are a few suggestions for breakfast that are quick and easy for those busy family mornings.

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Homemade fruit smoothie with real fruit.
  • Nuts
  • Lean bacon or turkey bacon
  • Cereal
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Bread and grains
  • Granola
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Peanut Butter or Almond Butter

Some more complex breakfasts may include the following….

  • Egg or breakfast sandwiches
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Scrambles eggs or sunny side up eggs
  • Poached eggs
  • Soft boiled eggs
  • Breakfast burrito
  • Lean sausage
  • Hot cereals
  • Fruit and cream cheese sandwiches or fruit pizza. These are great on cinnamon bread or a bagel.

There are so many great options out there.  If you plan ahead, your entire family can enjoy a healthy breakfast every day.  Plan out a simple meal plan.  Shop at the beginning of the week and make great breakfast choices every day because if you don’t make the right choices, your kids could experience the following each day….

  • They will be tired.
  • They will be cranky.
  • They won’t be able to concentrate in school.
  • They won’t have energy for their after school activities.

What about a two breakfast morning? New studies even say that kids and adults who eat two breakfasts actually maintain their weight better.  Therefore, if your child eats a small breakfast before they go to school, then another breakfast at school, they will actually maintain a healthy weight better than those kids who don’t eat breakfast or those who only eat one breakfast.  Food is critical to our health.  Eating smart and eating healthy food can improve your child’s grades, help them with their extracurricular activities and most of all, it will teach them healthy eating habits at a young age.
Start your child’s day off the right way.  Start it with a healthy breakfast.

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