How to turn breakfast into brain food
The first week of school has come to a close, but it’s just the beginning of the year and it’s as good a time as any to build good habits. If the morning rush often has your family skipping breakfast, consider remedying that with a slight change in routine. Leaving home with an empty belly leads to a distracted and unfocused kid at school, so follow these tips to turn the first meal of the day into a better body and a better brain.Related: 5 fun ways to get children to drink more waterClick on arrows for more.
1. A-plus for protein
High-protein meals make it easy to get the nutrients needed for growth and immunity, says Dr Han Wee Meng, principal dietitian with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. For a boost of brain food, try soft boiled eggs with a glass of warm milk or yogurt. Another good option is a protein-rich smoothie made of uncooked oatmeal, strawberries, yogurt and milk.Related: 5 food myths that hurt your child's development
2. Skip the sugary cereal
Full of artificial sweeteners and fat (and not to mention low in fibre and protein) these junk carbs are absorbed quickly in the stomach and leave your kid hungrier, earlier. Plus, they often have high salt and fat levels as well, and are linked to childhood obesity. Look for a whole-grain cereal instead, or grab a box of plain cereal and serve it up for breakfast with a sprinkling of raisins.Related: 4 ways to teach your child restaurant manners
3. Fresh fruit
Fruits contain many vitamins, minerals and fibre that can easily be lost in children’s diets. Experts suggest banana, apples, papayas and plums. Plate them with a toasted wholegrain bread for a full tummy and a serving of complex carbohydrates. To encourage your child to eat his breakfast, try having some fun with your plating. Use cookie cutters to punch fun shapes out of the toast, then add colour and fun decoration with the fruit.Related: 6 super grains: how to get your child to eat them(Photos: 123RF.com)