Parents' Corner

Power Up Your Preschooler: the Importance of Breakfast

Posted by David Smith on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 @ 08:00 AM

preschooler-importance-of-breakfast.jpgA nutritious breakfast fuels up your child with important vitamins and minerals, providing him or her with iron, fiber, calcium and much more. A healthy diet helps your child concentrate in preschool—and then school—and serves as the foundation to building healthy eating habits. When your child doesn’t eat a filling breakfast, he or she will tend to want junk food.

The article Start Them Young: Importance of Breakfast for Preschoolers provides this overview: “The combination of complex carbs, fiber, protein and good fat leaves children feeling full, alert and ready to face the day, while providing the nutrition they need for optimal growth and development.” If you want to check up on how well you’re doing with teaching healthy eating habits, the site provides a quiz.

The site also provides the following information about the importance of a healthy breakfast:

  • Preschoolers who are hungry experience more challenges with learning
  • Children who eat sugary breakfasts often display more hyperactive behaviors
  • According to the American Diabetic Association, a healthy, well-balanced breakfast will also help children to “have better problem-solving skills, have better hand-eye coordination, be more alert, be more creative, miss fewer days of school and be more physically active.”

Specific breakfast ideas include low-sugar (or sugar-free) cereal with milk, plus some fruit, or a whole-grain waffle, toasted and topped with fruit.

Fun Breakfast Recipes

Parents.com lists recipes that are quick, nutritious and appealing to youngsters. The recipes are available for free, but you do need to register online to view them. One recipe is the Pretty Pomegranate Sundae made with low-fat yogurt and fruit. You can make these the night before and refrigerate them for morning availability.

The site also recommends MomsKitchenHandbook.com as a source of nutritional breakfast recipes. As just one example, if you’d like to entice your preschooler to drink more milk (or to eat more fruit), consider this recipe for Creamy Strawberry Milk.

And, if you’d like a delicious breakfast dish that’s also nutritious, easy to make, freezer-friendly and portable for those especially busy mornings when your child needs to eat in the car, try making these breakfast egg wraps ahead of time. You can have this breakfast ready to go on hectic days by simply microwaving a frozen wrap for two minutes.

RealSimple.com lists 10 breakfasts that are quick and healthy for children. Check out the English-Muffin Breakfast Pizza, or the Bagel and Cream Cheese with Tomato and Cucumber where you can make fun faces with the veggies to make your preschooler smile. The recipe even provides tips on how to create edible eyeglasses!

Takes Extra Time

Does your child like pancakes? Then take a look at CookingLight.com’s recipe for Sweet Potato and Pecan Flapjacks. These aren’t super quick to make, so consider them for weekend breakfast time—or, if you’d like to make them during the week, you can roast the sweet potato the night before and make up a mixture of all the dry ingredients in proper proportions. When cooked, add some fresh fruit on top or on the side.

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Center provides affordable quality care, including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.

Topics: Child Nutrition, Preschool

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