Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nutrition experts have been talking about this for many years. But why is it so important for the health and well-being of our children, and why can its absence cause stress and negative emotions? What should a toddler's perfect breakfast look like and how to encourage them to eat it? These questions will be answered by Catherine Stuhr, clinical dietitian and psych - dietician - expert of the campaign "Eat fruit and vegetables - in them hides the greatest power!"




Lack of breakfast and stress

After waking up, our body releases cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. It is only inhibited by the first meal. So if you don't provide your baby with the necessary nutrients at the beginning of the day, his or her well-being will suffer.


The earlier the toddler eats, the sooner we will "fire in his metabolic furnace". We don't expect a computer to run without a power supply, any more than we should expect our children to be able to make the most of their brains without a nutritious breakfast. That is why the first meal should be wholesome.

Half the plate - with vegetables and fruit

What is a wholesome meal? A perfect breakfast should consist primarily of vegetables and fruit, preferably in season and locally available. Another important element of this meal are whole grain cereal products that provide complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, granola or a whole meal bread sandwich with added protein and fats.


When composing breakfast, do not forget about the principle of half a plate - according to the latest recommendations, this is what vegetables and fruit should be in every meal. So let's add a bowl of radishes or tomatoes to a traditional sandwich, and scrambled eggs should be enriched with kale and red onions for example.


Ways to have breakfast

According to the expert, there are proven ways to introduce breakfast into the children's schedule. One of them is planning in advance with the children what they will want to eat for tomorrow's breakfast. This allows the parent to prepare the ingredients in advance, but most of all avoids morning discussions.


On school days, I often make cocktails for my children - I mix them with millet or oatmeal cooked the day before with a plant drink, e.g. peanut, and seasonal fruit. For this you can add peanut butter and a tablespoon of wheat germ. Such a cocktail, drunk in just a few minutes, ensures that the child feels full for a long time. In addition, this type of breakfast is quick to prepare and very tasty, it also prevents hunger and eating unhealthy and high-calorie products later in the day – says our expert.


Breakfast celebration

Another way to build a breakfast habit is to celebrate your meal. It is worth starting the changes with shared weekends, when there is usually more time. The involvement of the whole family in preparing breakfast, arranging tableware, colorful napkins and creating a pleasant atmosphere is not only a good time together, but also building positive habits that will bear fruit in the future - says the dietitian.


Getting used to regular meals makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight, reduces stress and helps the young organism to develop efficiently. Systematic eating in the case of children is also associated with another value, very important from an educational point of view, i.e. regularity. It gives the child a sense of security and peace.


Revised by : Justyna Maslanka-Isler

February 05, 2022 — Justyna Maslanka

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