Does your child hate eating breakfast? Does he often skip the so-called most important meal of the day? If he does, then you might start training him not to since two studies have further shown the importance of breakfast.
One study showed that children who skip breakfast have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study conducted by experts at St. George’s University of London took into account 4,000 children between the ages of 9 and 10 years old in the United Kingdom and collected information on children’s attitude towards breakfast, their body fat, and blood samples.
The study also had the researchers doing one-on-one interviews with half of the children. During the interview, the kids attempted to remember the foods they have eaten the day before the chat.
The study showed that children who regularly skipped breakfast had 26 per cent higher insulin in their blood compared to those who ate breakfast every day. The kids who were fond of skipping breakfast were also found to have insulin resistance of 26 percent higher.
The researchers also discovered that among the children who managed to remember the food they ate before the interview, kids who had breakfast high in fiber cereal had lower levels of insulin and insulin resistance.
There’s also another study that links children skipping meals, especially breakfast, to excess body fat and cardiometabolic risk.
That study was part of a doctoral thesis of Aino-MaijaFloranta at the University of Eastern Finland and also showed that higher cardiometabolic risk is linked to high consumption of red meat, low fat margarine, and sugary drinks.
In the study, 512 Finnish boys and girls aged six to eight years old were examined in a Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) test. The study took into account the children’s dietary habits, eating habits and determinants of body adiposity and cardiometabolic risk linked to diet.
The study also noted that children who skipped meals and ate foods rich in protein were at higher risks of excess body fat. Likewise, children with higher body adiposity were also shown to either eat fast or prone to emotional overeating.
The study, which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also disclosed that less than half of the children ate all the three main meals every day. Instead, most of them took snacks to compensate for skipping meals like breakfast. Many of them took sugary drinks daily, and only a few consumed vegetables, fruits, and berries.
Breakfast has long been known as the most important meal of the day, especially for children. By eating breakfast, children can get the needed nutrients to fuel their growing bodies and developing brains, and the energy they need to last through the day.
Experts have long preached that nutritious breakfast helps children to focus on their daily activities. Dr. Teresia O’Connor, a pediatrician at the Texas Children’s Hospital, says that children who have a nutritious breakfast can better focus on their school work because they are not distracted by hunger pangs.
Good quality breakfast can also make children more alert and motivated to learn. Since children are growing at rapid rates, they need optimal nutrition and this can be achieved by having them eat breakfast regularly.
Breakfast is also important for children since they tend to have a longer fasting time than adults. Because children generally sleep longer than adults, their stomachs are empty much longer than adults especially overnight. So it is important for children to eat breakfast to provide fuel for the rest of the day.
Breakfast also provides fuel for the oxidation of glucose. When there is not enough blood glucose in their bodies, hormones like cortisol and adrenal are released thus making children agitated and irritable. This causes them to be distracted and even make them prone to outbursts. Simply put, skipping breakfast can make children lethargic and unable to cope with the demands of school.
One of the reasons why children skip breakfast may be due to their parents’ inability to prepare nutritious meals for them in the morning. Parents especially those who work may find it difficult, if not impossible, to cook for their children because they need to leave home early and attend to pressing concerns in the office early in the day.
One possible solution to this is for parents to take their children to restaurants that serve nutritious and reasonably priced breakfast meals like IHOP and Olive Garden Nutrition. By dining in at these restaurants, parents can ensure that their children will get the right nutrients that they need to last throughout the day.
Dining at these restaurants can also instill the habit of regularly eating breakfast in your children, even if you don’t go to these places every day.
So why don’t you start teaching your kids the importance of breakfast today?