The way you start your day can determine the outcome of the whole day. A good morning routine can improve one’s discipline, hygiene, productivity and focus. There are many good morning habits that should be nurtured in your kids, e.g. waking up early, making the bed, simple stretching, brushing their teeth. Having a nutritious breakfast is one of the key components of a good morning habit too.
Benefits of breakfast
Breakfast is not called the most important meal of the day without reason. Having breakfast replenishes energy levels after long hours of fasting during sleep. Since breakfast also contributes to our daily total nutrient intake, people who have breakfast are also more likely to meet daily recommended intakes of key nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals. Breakfast also helps prevent overeating during the next meal and enhances our concentration and performance in the morning.
The important thing is to have a healthy nutritious breakfast. You can help your children achieve this by emphasising balance, moderation and variety (BMV) when preparing breakfast. Remember to opt for whole grains which are more nutritious than refined grains. Don’t forget to include fruits and veggies as well during breakfast to fulfil the recommended servings. Have some proteins too, e.g. from milk, cheese and egg, for a complete breakfast.
Easy & healthy breakfast ideas
- Nutty fruity oatmeal: Rolled or quick oats with milk, topped with mixed nuts and fruits
- Egg sandwich: Scrambled eggs with tomatoes and onions between two slices of wholegrain bread
- Omelette fried rice: Fried brown rice and omelette with carrots and peas
Quick breakfast tips
- Prepare early: Spend some time at night to prepare breakfast in advance and save time in the morning. For example, you can pre-cut fruits or pre-cook rolled oats.
- Reuse leftovers: Dinner from last night can be reheated or repurposed for breakfast. For example, slice and reheat leftover grilled chicken and turn it into a grilled chicken sandwich.
- Have it together: One way to encourage your children to eat breakfast is by making it a family routine. Everyone should try to have breakfast together before going out for the day.
- Keep it simple: When everyone is in a rush, opt for ready-made yet nutritious breakfast. A breakfast with two slices of whole grain bread and a glass of milk is better than nothing.
To cultivate healthy habits in your children, you have to start from young. This includes the habit of having breakfast. As with all changes, start small and gradually, but remain consistent. Most importantly, you as parents have to be the role model and practise what you preach.