As parents we’ve prepared our kids for the new school year by kitting them out with new uniform, shoes, stationery and lunchboxes, but are we giving them a good start each day nutritionally?
Many cereals marketed for children are laden with sugar, and even those that claim to be ‘healthy’ contain surprising amounts. For instance, a serving of muesli may contain around four teaspoons of sugar! A good balance of protein and complex carbohydrates at breakfast can regulate your child’s energy and optimise their performance and concentration at school. So instead of branded cereals, try some of the following ideas; they’re quick to prepare and will give your child a good start to the day:
- Eggs – boiled, poached or scrambled, try serving with a slice of wholemeal toast spread with nut butter
- Oats with ground or chopped nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), natural yoghurt or coconut milk, and fresh blueberries
- A couple of oatcakes spread with cashew butter or tahini and sliced banana
- Quinoa porridge with apple and cinnamon (can be made the night before and hot milk added in morning)
- Breakfast smoothie (pictured) – whizz up some berries with nut milk or coconut milk and half a banana. You can adapt this by adding ground flaxseed, chia seeds or nuts or include a scoop of protein powder for older children.
If you’re wondering how you could possibly get your kids to switch from coco pops to quinoa porridge, don’t despair….Remember it takes an average of 10-15 times for children to develop a liking for new foods, so persistence is key. Also try to set a good example for them by eating the same foods with them at breakfast time. It’s worth persevering whilst they are young, so they develop good eating habits in the future, but it’s never too late to introduce new healthy foods even for teenage kids!