A recent Australian survey revealed that 40% of Australian children miss breakfast on at least one day per week. Some 8% of children never ate breakfast. Many adults do not eat a regular breakfast either.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We also know that with children going to school that their concentration, attention span and capacity to learn will be reduced if they don’t have some “fuel in the tank” to start the day. Our own brainpower is never as good if we are running on empty either.
So what were the reasons given for not having breakfast?
According to the survey the commonest reasons given were lack of time, being too tired or couldn’t be bothered. To say that these are poor excuses is an understatement. On the plus side there is a simple solution to each.
For lack of time it may mean getting up 10 minutes earlier Breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult to be nutritious. Some fruit and yoghurt is fine. Some rye or spelt toast is good too. If you want to invest a bit more time then rolled oats (cooked or raw) or an egg is good too. It will take you less than ten minutes which is not time consuming Make sure you have some water as well.
It is interesting how things go in a circle. Eggs, which got an undeserved bad rap in the early days of cholesterol hysteria, are now back in vogue. New research is suggesting that eggs in the morning may be a better start than carbohydrates as it provides protein and gets absorbed more slowly hence setting you up better for the day. It has been shown that people seeking to lose weight lost more having eggs rather than toast for breakfast. Now you can of course combine the two but make it a rye or spelt bread-one which has a low glycaemic index.
Being too tired can be overcome by going to bed on time. Sleep is vital for the body and needs to be seen as being as important as breathing and eating. This is also a bit of a cycle. Those who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be obese and not eat properly. Already tired, they rely on sugar snacks to give an energy boost. When this wears off they need another energy fix and so it goes
Here are three simple breakfast rules
1)Eat breakfast everyday preferably within one hour of getting up
2)Include some protein and some complex carbohydrate
3)Have some water with breakfast. You can have coffee too but not instead
For those who could not be bothered the question really is how important is your child’s health and development. It is vital for everyone to eat breakfast but even more so for growing minds and bodies. Set a good example by making sure you have breakfast each day
No child or adult should leave the house in the morning without breakfast unless you are eating breakfast out. There is no excuse that cannot be overcome.
Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, Dr Joe Kosterich wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications, is clinical editor at Medical Forum Magazine, and is also a regular on radio and television.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma, Chairman of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association and sits on the board of Arthritis and Osteoporosis WA. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases.