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Breakfast Is the Key to a Healthy Head Start



The most important meal of the day


Children who eat breakfast get a head start on the daily nutrients they need, according to Corrine Montandon, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

A good breakfast provides one-fourth to one-third of the day's energy and nutrient needs. So, children who skip breakfast usually fall sort of their daily dietary needs.

READ MORE: Eat better, play better


It doesn't matter if children are preschoolers, first-graders or freshmen, breakfast gives young people an energy boost and improves classroom behavior, overall attitude, and mental and physical performance.

Early morning can be a hectic time for households, but finding an extra 10 to 15 minutes for breakfast can give kids a classroom edge - and help them learn a lifetime of good eating habits.

A balanced breakfast should include a dairy product such as low-fat milk or yogurt, a grain such as high-fiber bread or a cereal, a protein such as peanut butter, low-fat cheese or a lean cut of meat, and a fruit or 100-percent fruit juice.

READ MORE: Tips to get kids to eat healthier

Sweetened cereals and convenience foods such as toaster waffles, breakfast burritos, and other frozen entrees can occasionally be served. But parents should carefully read labels because many of these foods contain high levels of sugar, salt and fat.

Parents should also remember that they are important role models. Children are more likely to eat breakfast if their parents eat breakfast.

READ MORE: The importance of Calcium and Vitamin D

For parents and children who must eat on the road, have on hand plenty of breakfast items to eat in the car like low-fat breakfast bars, fresh fruit, and cartons of low-fat milk or 100-percent juice.

The important thing is for children and their parents to eat something nourishing for breakfast.

Courtesy Growing Child, www.growingchild.com