If you’ve told your kids once, you’ve told them a million times, “eat your breakfast — it’s the most important meal of the day!” Studies show that kids who skip breakfast are often tired and irritable by late morning, which can lead to aggressive behaviour or getting into trouble. But what exactly should your little ones be eating to get them through the day? Here are three favourites recommended by the Canadian Health Food Association.
- To give your kids a good start to the day, try something new — chia pudding. Soak half a cup of chia seeds in two cups of hemp milk with a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract overnight, and wake up to a delicious and healthy treat. Chia seeds are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids and are an excellent plant source of omega-3s. Chia is also high in dietary fibre, which slows digestion and helps with blood sugar regulation so kids feel fuller for longer.
- Another fun alternative is an “egg muffin cup.” For an easy hot breakfast, whisk eggs with your favourite spices, add brightly coloured vegetables and bake in a muffin tray at 350°C for 20 minutes. Organic eggs are a great choice for protein and are high in selenium and vitamins A and D, while veggies like red pepper and spinach are high in vitamins C and K. Not only do these veggies help with bone growth — this recipe helps make eating veggies fun.
- Organic yogurt is an excellent source of vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin. It also contains probiotics, which can help with digestion and reduce stomach upset, a common complaint among young children. Avoid the added sugar by choosing plain yogurt and topping it with berries rich in antioxidants, flax seeds that contain Omega-3s, or hemp seeds that are rich in dietary minerals, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Sprinkle with cinnamon or a touch of honey and this nutritious breakfast is good to go.
Don’t forget, when it comes to meals for kids, variety is key. Little kids can be hard to please, so ensure your children are getting their daily intake of essential vitamins and minerals by choosing a quality multivitamin or a probiotic supplement to aid in digestive health. You can find these at a CHFA Member health food store at chfa.ca. Remember to always read and follow the directions found on the label of your natural health product and to speak with your health care practitioner before making changes to your child’s diet.