Sunday, September 14, 2008

Want Your Kid's to Succeed in Life? Eat Breakfast

Do you want to boost your kid's brain power? Give them steady energy? Improve their behavior? It's simple. All you have to do is feed them breakfast!

Children who have breakfast in the morning are absent from school less often than kids who skip breakfast. Breakfast supplies much needed energy. It also reduces the amount of aggressive behavior your child exhibits. Children who eat breakfast often have a better attitude towards school, which may help to get them out of the house in the morning. Test scores and grades improve significantly. The child ca pay more attention to the board because they don't have to listen to their grumbling stomachs. Children who eat breakfast receive more fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and folic acid in their diets. These nutrients are extremely important because they cannot be made up in other meals during the day. Eating Breakfast also improves weight management for the rest of you child's life.

Put breakfast in your routine. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier so there is time for breakfast. To save time, set out clothes and prepare backpacks the night before. Don't allow your child to play video games, go on the computer, or watch TV before school. Try foods that can be ready quickly such as fresh or canned fruit, milk, yogurt, string cheese, hard-boild eggs, whole-grain cereal, or instant oatmeal. If your child does not have a big appetite try breakfast bars. Children pay close attention to their parents. If you don't eat in the morning they won't want to either. Add breakfast to your morning routine. To help make mornings swifter try making a weekly breakfast menu and make sure the foods are within easy reach for the mornings your running late.

Try building breakfasts full of protein and good carbohydrates. Try whole-grain instead of sugar covered anything. In the morning avoid breakfast pastries, sugary cereals, donuts, soda,chips, and fruit drinks by themselves. These types of food can mess with your child's blood pressure. Try feeding kids whole-grain toast, english muffins, waffles topped with peanut butter, breakfast burritos, tacos, or pita pockets stuffed with scrambled eggs and salsa. You can also try whole-grain cereals with nuts and berries, or yogurt topped with granola and fresh or dried fruit.

Make sure your child gets plenty of good fats. Scientists say the brain is composed of 60% fat; therefore, fat is essential for healthy brain growth and performance. DHA is extremely important especially in younger children. Up to 93% of the omega-3 fats in a child's brain consist of DHA. DHA is the part of the brain that does complex thinking. It is also important for nerve cells in your child's eyes ergo it affects your child's vision. Foods that naturally contain DHA include: mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, sardines, and algae. Although these are probably not on your child's list of favorite foods, your child needs DHA. Small amounts can be found in flaxseed and walnuts but these do not do much to support your child. How much DHA does your child need? According to the National Institutes of Health, children should consume 150 milligrams of DHA per day but most children only receive 20 mg. Concerned parents should ask their family pediatrician about supplements to bridge the nutritional gap.

Make sure to feed your kids healthy snacks and meals during the day too. Their test scores and grades will improve in no time.

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