The old adage, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” couldn’t be more true when it comes to feeding our kids (and ourselves). The humble breakfast fills up their energy stores, literally breaking the overnight “fast” and gives kids the fuel they need for the day ahead. Eating a balanced breakfast is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and I always tell my clients to eat like a queen for breakfast, a princess for lunch and a slave for dinner.
Giving kids the right fuel to kick-start their day is really very simple when you have a basic formula to stick to.
A healthy breakfast should include:
- A good quality protein
- A wholegrain low GI carbohydrate
- A healthy fat
- A fruit or a vegetable
The goal is to provide balanced energy for your little ones – low GI carbohydrates, like wholegrain breads and cereals, release their energy slowly into the bloodstream, stabilising blood sugar levels, and helping to minimise a mid-morning energy slump. When combined with a protein, like eggs, nuts, seeds or dairy products, and a healthy fat, like unrefined coconut oil or avocado, digestion is slowed, helping small stomaches stay satisfied for longer. Fruit and veg adds a natural sweetness to the meal, bumping up your kiddos’ vitamin and mineral intake!
Stick to this super easy formula when making your child’s first meal of the day to ensure they are fuelled up enough to play and learn!
Examples of kid-friendly breakfasts include:
- Oatmeal made with almond milk, plus a sprinkle of cinnamon, chia seeds and fresh berries
- Eggs on wholegrain (or sprouted) bread, with avocado (and some sautéed spinach, mushrooms and roasted tomato if your kids aren’t averse to veggies)
- A fresh smoothie made with coconut water, a dash of good quality protein powder, some fresh or frozen fruit and perhaps some soaked flaxseeds (or freshly ground flax-meal)
- Home made low GI muesli with natural yogurt and passion fruit
- Homemade wholewheat waffles served with natural peanut butter and sliced banana
- For a vegan hearty breakfast you might want to try some sautéed scrambled silken tofu (non GMO) with fresh herbs like basil and roasted tomato and a slice of wholegrain (or sprouted) bread
Karin G. Reiter is a medical nutritionist, wife, mama and business owner of Nutritious N’ Delicious who specializes in nutritional, health and life-style education. Karin has a passion for nutrition and the power of food – especially as it pertains to disease prevention. Karin is a vegetarian who lives, breathes, cooks, writes and talks about healthy food and how it can make your life so much better. You can also check out her Nutritious N’ Delicious blog.