In the rush of morning routines, we sometimes forget the most important meal of the day - breakfast. When you eat in the morning, you start the day off right. But breakfast isn't just for your health - it's for your brain, too. It's a way to Start Out Smart every day.
According to a study in the Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, kids who often ate breakfast were better equipped to tackle the school day. The children generally had higher math grades, were less depressed, anxious and hyperactive, were more likely to attend class and were more likely to be on time for class.(1)
When kids are feeling hungry, their attention span is shorter and their ability to concentrate is reduced.(2) After a nutritious breakfast, kids perform better in school through increased problem-solving ability, memory, verbal fluency and creativity.(3)
Eating a nutritious breakfast is important for kids, teenagers, and adults. Studies show that skipping breakfast has the same results for both kids and adults. Because your brain needs nutrients and energy to work properly, skipping breakfast hurts memory and mental performance.(4)
Why? Eating breakfast establishes the regular eating pattern that's important for weight control throughout life. When kids have set mealtimes, their appetite is regulated, meaning they are less likely to fill up on high-fat foods later in the day.(6)
Kids who skip breakfast are less likely to get the daily nutrients they need, such as fibre and essential vitamins or minerals.(7) Breakfast may be the only time kids or adults consume fruit juice and milk - and when they consume a significant part of their intake of important nutrients such as vitamin C and calcium. In fact, it's been reported that teenagers who skip breakfast have an intake of calcium and vitamin C that is 40 percent lower than teens who eat breakfast.(8)
Getting calcium at breakfast is especially important for growing adolescents. According to the National Academy of Sciences, adolescents between the ages of 9 and 18 need 1,300 mg of calcium daily.(9) Because nearly half of adult bone mass is formed during these years, it is imperative that adolescents consume the recommended amounts of calcium. With good calcium consumption during these critical years, adolescents will build a strong skeletal foundation.(10)
Drinking a 250 mL glass of Minute Maid® Calcium Rich Orange Juice from Concentrate with Added Vitamin D will add 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of Calcium to your diet. In the chilled product available in cartons, you'll also find 110 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, 160 percent in a glass of prepared frozen concentrate.
Kids who see their parents eat breakfast are more likely to eat breakfast themselves.(11) Parents and kids both need the energy provided by a nutritious breakfast, so why not eat breakfast as a family and enjoy the time together?
Breakfast doesn't have to be time-consuming or conventional. According to the American Dietetic Association, typical breakfast foods like fruit, fruit juice, ready-to-eat cereal, dairy products and breads are excellent ways to start the day.(12) Breakfast is when you eat, not what you eat.(13) Just make sure the "what" is something nutritious that kids will like. Here are some quick, nutritious meals to start your kid's day right.
- Granola bar and a glass of Minute Maid® Calcium Rich Orange Juice from Concentrate with Vitamin D.
- Leftover pizza and a fruit smoothie (Minute Maid® Premium fruit juice, milk, and ice in the blender).
- A toaster waffle with sliced fruit and maple syrup plus a glass of Minute Maid® Calcium Rich Orange Juice from Concentrate with Vitamin D.
In the rush of the morning routine, preparing breakfast may be the last thing on your mind. By making breakfast a family affair, however, kids and parents will get into the habit of starting the day off with good nutrition and energy. Getting everyone involved also can save time and make breakfast fun.
Plan breakfast before you go to bed. Set up the plates, bowls, cereal boxes and instant oatmeal the night before - with a little help from the kids. Create a fun "breakfast buffet" area. Stock an area of the kitchen with a variety of cereals and breads, fruit and peanut butter and jelly. Kids can help themselves to breakfast by grabbing their favourite Minute Maid® Premium orange juice variety, yogurt and milk out of the refrigerator and creating a quick meal at the buffet. Prepare large quantities of pancakes or French toast on the weekend or in the evening. Make it a family activity and freeze extras for weekday breakfasts. Pancakes or French toast can be warmed in the microwave or toaster oven and are a nice alternative to cold cereal.
As part of a balanced, nutritious diet, delicious Minute Maid® juice and juice drink products can help you and your entire family get the vitamin C and calcium you all need.
(1) Murphy, J.M. et al. The Relationship of School Breakfast to Psychosocial and Academic Functioning, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, September 1998, Volume 152, Number 9, p. 899-907.
(2) American Dietetic Association, "Breakfast: A Healthy Start for You and Your Child" 1996 Fact Sheet.
(3) Based on Does Breakfast Make A Difference In School?, by Ernesto Pollit, Ph.D., published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, October 1995.
(4) American Dietetic Association, "Young Adults Most Likely to Miss A.M. Meal, Study Shows," May 6, 1996.
(5) American Dietetic Association, "Calling All Parents: Wake Up Your Kids to Breakfast" 1997 Fact Sheet.
(6) American Dietetic Association, "Breakfast: A Wake-Up Call to Parents," February 28, 1996.
(7) American Dietetic Association, "Breakfast: A Healthy Start for You and Your Child" 1996 Fact Sheet.
(8) "Children Who Skip Breakfast Pay a High Price" Jane E. Brody, New York Times, Oct 6, 1998.
(9) National Academy of Sciences 1997 Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, ch. 4, p. 23.
(10) National Institute of Health Consensus Statement, 1994, June 6 - 8: Vol 12 (#4):1- 31.
(11) American Dietetic Association, "Calling All Parents: Wake Up Your Kids to Breakfast" 1997 Fact Sheet.
(12) American Dietetic Association, "A Nutritious Start Helps Kids Learn and Stay Healthy" 1996 Fact Sheet.
(13) American Dietetic Association, "Daily Breakfast Menu," 1996 Fact Sheet.