Breakfast is Key!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I always hear most patients visiting my practice say they are not used to eating breakfast, bad habits! Skipping breakfast causes among others: lack of energy and fatigue throughout the day, inability to concentrate, low metabolism, low blood sugar and irritability .It has also been shown that people who skip breakfast have a tendency of overeating later in the day, leading to increased risk of overweight and obesity. Its been reported that 1 in 5SA children skip breakfast. Children who skip breakfast are more likely to have a lower diet quality compared to those who do

Hungry stomachs need to be filled before every day kicks of.People who eat breakfast on a regular basis are more likely to be active and lead a healthier lifestyle., and even make healthier food choices throughout the day.And As for children, a breakfast meal that consist of nutrient-dense meals is crucial for early childhood development and growth .Children need to have balanced meals including breakfast, a balanced diet should consist of different food groups that have different functions in one’s body, it gives the body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. The frood groups needed include

Starches

u Starchy foods provide the body with energy and other important nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and are usually the main food in a mealuy

u Starchy foods for breakfast maize meal porridge, oats, bread and high fibre cereals

u They are very rich in dietary fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies’ enzymes. It is found in edible plant foods such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, dried peas, nuts, lentils and grains. Fiber is grouped by its physical

1. prevent constipation

2. digestion by keeping a healthy gut

When choosing breakfast for breakfast low glycemic index. Low glycemic index simply means that the starch brek down slowly during digestion and that sugar is being released slowly into the blood stream after consumption. Low GI breakfast food include whole wheat breads and cerealsand maize porridge that was cooked the previous night.

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Protein

This food group is more essential for growth and development of children

u Milk, yoghurt and cheese are good protein to be included for breakfast for children

u These airy products are good sources of protein, Calcium and Vitamin D needed for a good bone development for children, heath and other metabolic processes in the body

u Yoghurt is the product of fermentation that contain probiotics which are responsible for maintaining a good gut health

u choose dairy products that are low in fat but children under the age of 5 need to use the full cream dairy product.

u Processed protein sources such as polony, Vienna, sausages, and baconshould be avoided as they shave a lot of fat and salt

u Other good protein sources include eggs,beans, tuna,left over-lean meat, pilchards, liver

Fruit or vegetable

u Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins & minerals needed to strengthen the body’s immune system & resist illness.

u Fruits and vegetables are low in energy but rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

u Using tomato, lettuce and cucumber for sandwiches can help increase children’ s vitamin intake

u Fruits such as bananas and berries can be used with most breakfast cereals, othe fruits can be consumed right after a cereal or a sandwich

Healthy fat

Moderate amount of healthy fat are for breakfast to help with some vitamin absorption, provide energy and to maintain body temperature

Avocado, nuts, light margarie and unsalted peanut butter are examples of good fat to include in your children’s breakfast

Breakfast should consist of at least one food from the above mentioned food group It is also very important to eat a variety of food, do not give your children the same food every day because their bodies need many different nutrients and therefore we must eat a variety of different foods.

Involving your children in shopping and preparing breakfast meals can aid increase their breakfast consumption. Also be a good role model to your children, if they see you having

breakfast daily, they will be encouraged to do so too. Making breakfast fun by making different shapes out of fruits and vegetables, making colourful breakfast milk can be helpful.