Healthy breakfasts for children
Breakfast for the kids
Breakfast is the first meal of the day and can be done in one or two meals: a first meal at home and another, complementary, mid-morning. The key to a complete children’s breakfast is knowing how to choose well. That is, to make breakfast a healthy meal, the foods that make it up provide an adequate amount of nutrients.
A full breakfast usually includes 3 food groups:
- Cereals, preferably whole grains and without added sugar. They provide slow absorption energy, to recharge the batteries and perform at their best during the morning.
- Dairy, such as milk or yogurt. Of the 3 recommended daily servings of dairy, it is a good idea to include one at breakfast. Dairy products provide valuable nutrients, such as proteins of high biological value and calcium. You can also opt for dairy products specifically adapted to meet the nutritional needs of children, enriched with nutrients such as iron or vitamin D , which contribute to the proper functioning of the defenses, and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Fresh and seasonal fruit, which will provide vitamins and fiber.
Other types of food can also be part of it, such as nuts, protein foods or extra virgin olive oil.
Tips to improve children’s breakfast
- Choose whole wheat bread instead of white: A sandwich or some toast can be a healthy and balanced option. But why is the type of bread important? During refining, a process by which the husk is removed from the cereal, and the amount of fiber and some vitamins and minerals is reduced. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for the comprehensive options.
- Prioritize cereals or muesli without added sugar: Cereals or muesli without sugars, oat flakes, etc. they are a good alternative to sugary versions.
- Choose a whole piece of fruit instead of juices: Natural or squeezed juices, jams and preserves provide less fiber and more sugar, so it is recommended to prioritize the whole piece of fruit whenever possible. There are some fruits rich in vitamin C, about which we already tell you much more in the article
- Incorporate some whole and unsweetened dairy: The Spanish Association of Pediatrics recommends incorporating 2-3 servings of dairy a day according to age. A serving of dairy is equivalent to a glass of milk, two yogurts, two or three slices of low-fat cheese, or a single serving of queso fresco or cottage cheese. Breakfast is a good time to include a quality dairy. You can offer a glass of milk with cocoa (if possible pure or if it is a soluble cocoa limit the amount that is added to the milk), a bowl of natural yogurt with cereals without sugars and nuts or a sandwich with tomato slices, lettuce and fresh cheese, or a smoothie.
- In short, we must try to limit the consumption of foods with added sugars, opting for products without added sugars, although it must be taken into account that dairy products contain a naturally present sugar, lactose, whose consumption is not limited. . Dairy products adapted for children will be an ally so that, in a glass of milk, they get essential nutrients for their development and growth. For example, vitamin D, as we told you in the article on vitamin D and children .
- Prioritize olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and a high content of vitamin E. It is a tasty and healthy option to accompany bread.
- Create healthy fillings: For the interior of the sandwiches or the accompaniment of some toasts you can also incorporate vegetables or greens, hard-boiled egg or omelette, hummus, well-drained bonito, fresh cheese, peanut butter without sugar, etc.
- Promote the consumption of nuts: Nuts provide polyunsaturated fats, fiber, proteins, minerals and vitamins. They are a good option to complete a breakfast bowl or to accompany a fruit in the middle of the morning. But remember, if your child is less than three or four years old, it is advisable to offer them ground or in cream, to avoid the risk of choking.
Now that we have reviewed what a healthy breakfast for children should look like, it is clear that there are many delicious and nutritious options. Who said that breakfast can’t be rich and healthy at the same time?