Pediatric overweight and obesity is a huge problem in the U.S. This excess weight puts kids at increased risk for chronic diseases at young ages. A 10-year National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of >4,300 children and >5,300 adolescents showed that that breakfast skippers had more weight problems. (Source: Jl Amer Dietetic Assoc., June 2010)Breakfast Skippers took in less of vitamins (Vitamins A, E, C, and B-6), minerals (iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium), and fiber.Breakfast Skippers ate fewer fruits & veggies, and more sugar and fat!Breakfast skippers were often adolescent girls or kids who were rushed in the morning – they didn’t fit in breakfast.This survey leaves us with some good lessons.
- First, breakfast has important nutritional value. Kids will eat more servings from all food groups.
- There is less rebound eating with large portions of unhealthy foods later in the day.
- And the waist circumference of the breakfast eaters was lower.
Make breakfast happen:
- Allow a few more minutes for everyone in the morning.
- After dinner, pre-set the breakfast table.
- The night before decide on the breakfast menu.
- Occasionally shake things up to make breakfast interesting- serve leftover pizza or stir fry veggies & chicken, a grilled cheese sandwich, fruit-cereal-yogurt parfait, etc.
- As the parent, eat breakfast yourself. Children do what you do, NOT what you say.
On the weekend make fruit or veggie quick breads or muffins for an easy reheat on a school day. Add a glass of reduced-fat milk and a piece of fruit, and you have a balanced breakfast. Here is a picture of banana bread made with oats, nonfat buttermilk, egg whites and LOTS of mashed bananas. Delicious!!!