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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Kids and Breakfast

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but did you why this is especially important for kids?
Kids who eat breakfast do better in school having more energy, focus, concentration, and better eye-hand coordination. They will have fewer behavioral problems and are more likely to meet their nutritional needs overall. The best bonus is they'll have an easier time staying at a healthy weight.
If you can't get them to sit down to breakfast send the kids off with a plastic zip bag filled with things like nuts, raisins, and O's cereal. Add orange slices, low-fat granola, cheese and crackers, sliced apple, sandwich cookies filled with peanut butter...or anything else reasonably healthy that you know they'll eat, whether it's a "breakfast food" or not. Even a chicken sandwich on whole wheat is fine.

You should aim for three things:

Plenty of fiber and protein - it will keep kids full and energized until lunch.
Minimal sugar - too much can send their energy soaring up, then crashing down before the morning's half over.
Some healthy fat, especially the kind called omega-3s - turns out that kids who eat more of them do better on short-term memory tests than kids who eat more saturated fat (like butter, bacon, sausage, pastries, full-fat milk and cheese).

One easy way to get good omega-3 fats into your kids: sprinkle walnuts or almonds on their cereal. You can also hard-boil a batch of omega-3-enriched eggs. So when you have a hectic morning you can give the kids and yourself an egg and some whole-wheat crackers in a plastic zipper bag and you'll all be good to go till lunch.

Don't forget oatmeal. Kids who eat oatmeal remember things better and pay more attention. Oatmeal is digested slowly, supplying the brain with a steady stream of energy.

This and more from: Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by pediatrician Jennifer Trachtenberg

This is a summary of an article: Top 5 Reasons Breakfast Is a Must for Kids
Posted: Thursday, Mar 01, 2007, 9:19 am PST on RealAge.


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