Alhadaf Magazine




Breakfast Brain Power


 Be Fit With Me


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Even if you eat a healthy morning meal every day, it can be tough to get yourselves fueled up in time for school. But it's important to try. Here's how to make breakfast more appealing for everyone.

Why Bother With Breakfast?

Breakfast is a great way to give the body the refueling it needs. Children who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities — two great ways to help maintain a healthy weight.

Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, your bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep. Your mood and energy can drop by midmorning if you don't eat at least a small morning meal.

Breakfast starts the body's metabolism; the process by which the body converts the fuel in food to energy. When the metabolism gets moving, the body starts burning calories.

Also, people who don't eat breakfast often consume more calories throughout the day and are more likely to be overweight. That's because someone who skips breakfast is likely to get hungry before lunchtime and start eating high-calorie food snacks or even overeat at lunch.

Breakfast Brain Power

 

It's important for you to have breakfast every day, but what you eat in the morning is important too. Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost your attention span, concentration, and memory — which you need to learn in school.

By eating breakfast, you are more likely to get fiber, calcium, and other important nutrients. You also tend to keep your weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels and fewer absences from school, and make fewer trips to the school nurse with stomach complaints related to hunger.

Making Breakfast Happen

It would be great to serve whole-grain waffles, fresh fruit, and low-fat milk each morning. But it can be difficult for parents to make a healthy breakfast happen when they are rushing to get themselves and the kids ready in the morning and juggling the general household chaos.

So, here are some suggestions for parents to ensure that — even in a rush — your kids get a good breakfast before they're out the door:

·         stock your kitchen with healthy breakfast options

·         prepare as much as you can the night before (get dishes and utensils ready, cut up fruit, etc.)

·         get everyone up 10 minutes earlier

·         let kids help plan and prepare breakfast

·         have grab-and-go alternatives (fresh fruit; individual boxes or baggies of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal; yogurt or smoothies) on days when there is little or no time to eat

If kids aren't hungry first thing in the morning, be sure to pack a breakfast that they can eat a little later on the bus or between classes. Fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, or half a peanut butter and banana sandwich are nutritious, easy to make, and easy for kids to take along.

A Balanced Breakfast

 

Try to eat a balanced breakfast that includes some carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Carbohydrates are a good source of immediate energy for the body. Fiber helps provide a feeling of fullness and, therefore, discourages overeating. When combined with healthy drinks, fiber helps move food through the digestive system, preventing constipation and lowering cholesterol.

Good sources of these nutrients include:

·         carbohydrates: whole-grain cereals, brown rice, whole-grain breads and muffins, fruits, vegetables

·         protein: low-fat or nonfat dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts (including nut butters), seeds, and cooked dried beans

·         fiber: whole-grain breads, waffles, and cereals; brown rice, bran, and other grains; fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts

 

Tip for Parents: Don't forget how important your good example is. Let your kids see you making time to enjoy breakfast every day. Even if you just wash down some whole-wheat toast and a banana with a glass of juice or milk, you're showing how important it is to the day only after refueling your brain and body with a healthy morning meal.