September is time for a fresh start. As the kids get back to school and family life takes on more of a routine, getting your day off to a good start can make all the difference to your child’s nutrition for the day.
Eating breakfast is associated with better micronutrient intake and lower levels of obesity in children.
From toddlers to teens, all children can benefit from eating something at breakfast time. From better mood and concentration to balanced energy and body composition, eating a healthy breakfast has physical, emotional, and academic benefits for children.
Breakfast is a great opportunity to add extra nutrition to your child’s daily diet. A decent breakfast has some key building blocks.
A portion of fruit
Chopped, sliced, grated or stewed, adding one portion of fruit to breakfast will help your child reach the five-a-day target.
- fresh or frozen berries in overnight oats
- banana on toast
- berries baked into breakfast muffins
- melon slices
- grated apple in porridge
- stewed berry compote with yoghurt
A wholegrain carbohydrate
A whole grain cereal for sustained energy and added fibre. Choosing a low-GI breakfast can help your child’s attention right through to break time.
- wholemeal toast
- wholewheat bagel
A protein source
To help regulate appetite and sustain energy levels throughout the morning.
- nuts and milled seeds
- nut butter
Although it may be tempting to give into your child’s cry for sugary, processed breakfast cereals, there are some easy tricks to help avoid arguments over the cereal box.
12 ways to sneak some goodness into your kid’s breakfast
- Give your child a choice of two healthy options – that way, they will feel more in control, and you are onto a winner as you know you are sending them off to school with a good nutritious start to their day. The choice between wholegrain cereal or yoghurt and fruit will keep everyone happy. Give a try to organic toddler food, particularly for toddlers and is produced using organic farming methods.
- Get the breakfast habit. Make breakfast a non-negotiable part of your morning routine. Even if that means getting up 10 minutes earlier.
- Save time in the morning by getting organised the night before. Set the table and set out what you are going to eat.
- Lead by example. Where possible, sit down and eat with your kids at breakfast.
- Offer smaller portions. If your child is not hungry, try smaller portions – half a slice of toast with peanut butter and banana is better than nothing.
- If your child’s favourite breakfast is sugar-coated, try mixing 50:50 with a lower-sugar alternative.
- Make a batch of overnight oats by soaking jumbo oats in milk with a little cinnamon, some grated apple or berries and a spoonful of Linwoods flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds and goji berries.
- Make a batch of healthy chia jam to stir into porridge, spread on toast, top a bagel or add to yoghurt. Gently heat 250g of frozen raspberries in a saucepan until they break down. Stir in three dessert spoonfuls of Linwoods milled chia seeds and a teaspoonful of honey. Heat for another 3–5 minutes and leave to cool. As it cools, the jam will thicken. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for a week.
- Bake, stir or mix a spoonful of Linwoods five seed into baked muffins, pancakes, or porridge. With essential fats, protein and packs of minerals and antioxidants, this is an easy way to add a little pop of nutrition to your child’s breakfast
- Swap sugar-laden chocolate spread or jam with nut butter, cream cheese or banana on toast
- French toast (eggy bread) – whisk up an egg with a spoonful of Linwoods milled chia seeds, soak a couple of slices of wholemeal toast in the egg mixture and cook over medium heat. Serve with berries and banana and top with yoghurt.
- Try smoothie bowls. Blitz bananas, berries, and yoghurt in your blender. Serve in a bowl topped with sliced banana and a spoonful of Linwoods flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds and goji berries.