Most of us already know that a healthy and nutritious breakfast has been proven to boost a child's learning, aid their concentration and power them through the morning.
However, the first few weeks of school can be rough, for both parents and children. New teachers, classes and friends, not to mention getting back into the old routine- can mean breakfast-and breakfasttime is often overlooked.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com spoke to Dubai based nutritionist Chloe Moir, to find out how to streamline the morning meal and create breakfasts which pack a powerful nutrition punch.
"Providing your kids with a nutritious breakfast is vital for optimal learning. A child who starts off their day with a nourishing and healthy meal they will experience stable energy levels, positive moods and a high motivation to learn. On the other hand, a child who has highly processed and nutrient-poor breakfast or no breakfast at all will find learning and concentrating during class a difficult task," says Chloe.
Important Components for Your Child’s Breakfast:
Protein: Protein is important for growing kids as it is the building blocks of cells. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your child feeling full. Examples are; free-range eggs, fish, nuts and seeds and organic dairy.
Wholegrain and unprocessed carbohydrates: Whole grains are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for children. Wholegrains and unprocessed carbohydrates are low in glycemic index that will keep blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your child’s day.
Healthy fats: Healthy fats are great for keeping your kids full are essential for brain health, reading ability and memory performance. Examples are; avocado, olives, salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and almonds.
Fruit and/or vegetables: Fruit and vegetables are packed full of vitamins and should make up a large component of your child’s breakfast. They also add fibre to the diet which is important for gut health and keeping blood sugar levels stable.
And the foods to avoid giving your child for breakfast?
Children’s breakfast cereals and other processed breakfast options should be avoided. Unfortunately, every breakfast cereal marketed towards children contains loads of added refined sugar. They often contain many artificial sweeteners, flavours and preservatives. If you are giving your child something from a packet, always read the ingredient list. If it contains sugar, syrups or food chemicals put it back on the shelf.
Click here to read Chloe's 'Tips for De-coding Deceiving Food Packets.'
Chloe's Speedy and Nutritious Recipes for Brain Boosting Breakfasts
Natural oatmeal with mashed banana and cinnamon
Natural, full fat organic yoghurt with fresh fruit and mixed seeds
Rye bread or sprouted grain bread topped with almond butter or natural peanut butter. Or a savoury topping such as avocado or tomato
Overnight chia pudding
A mixed plate including; a boiled egg, sliced tomato, fresh berries, organic cheese and walnuts
Cacao quinoa porridge
Frittata slice and fresh fruit
Overnight oats (1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup Greek yoghurt, 1/3 cup organic milk/coconut milk/un sweetened nut milk, ½ a sliced banana, ¼ cup blueberries – mix all ingredients together and leave in the fridge overnight)
Banana pancakes (Mix 1 mashed banana with 1 egg and a pinch of cinnamon. Cook in a pan with coconut oil)
Healthy chocolate smoothie (blend together: 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1 small banana, ¼ avocado, organic milk/coconut milk/unsweetened nut milk, 1 date)
Strawberry smoothie (blend together ½ a banana, ½ cup strawberries, 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt organic milk/coconut milk/unsweetened nut milk)
Banana, coconut and chia loaf (recipe here)
Tomato and cheese omelette
Homemade muesli – (Mix together: oats, coconut, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and chopped dates. Store in an airtight container and serve with Greek yoghurt or organic milk/coconut milk/unsweetened nut milk).
Nutritionist Chloe Moir has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Human Nutrition and Sports & Exercise Science, as well as 5 years experience working as a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer in New Zealand. She teaches her clients to make healthy choices and small lifestyle changes that help them to achieve their personal goals. Chloe has a food and nutrition blog where she shares nutrition tips, her view on current nutrition trends and a lot of delicious, nutritious recipes for more info see here.