Kids Get Failing Grade at Choosing a Healthy Breakfast

By Sarah Klein

(HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION)

With school starting up again in a few weeks, many Canadian families are faced with the challenge of preparing a nutritious breakfast in a short period of time.

New information released by the Heart and Stroke Foundation on Monday shows a lack of time in the morning contributes to unhealthy meal choices to begin the day.

“We know that a healthy breakfast helps children concentrate better in school and makes it easier for them to learn,” said Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian. “We all want to give our kids the power to be their best and the truth is, breakfast plays a big part.” Fibre, iron and protein are the powerful nutritional trio that make up a healthy and well-rounded breakfast.

The foundation polled 2,498 Canadian parents of children between the ages of 4 and 18 who were attending school.

Fifty-one percent of parents said a time crunch contributes to less-than-ideal meal choices, 41% of those polled said their children aren’t hungry in the morning, and 29 percent said that picky eaters reject healthy breakfast choices.

The most popular breakfast food for kids? Cold cereal.

“That may be the easiest default breakfast, but not all breakfast cereals are created equal, Dombrow added. “You need to take a close look at the nutrition panel on the back of the box to know what is inside the box to make a healthy choice.”

Dombrow suggests some easy ways to put a healthy breakfast on the table for children:

  • Put a face on your bowl of oatmeal with raisins and almonds.
  • Dip whole wheat toast sticks into a soft-boiled egg.
  • Melt lower fat cheese on an English muffin and serve with apple slices.
  • Make a fruit smoothie; make sure you use 100 percent fruit juice, lower-fat yogurt and plenty of fruit.

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