by Ariane Resnick, C.N.C.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a claim we're all very familiar with ... but is it true? Does eating breakfast impact attention disorders or anxiety? And does breakfast play a part, as most of us have heard, in our energy, weight or wellness? In short, the answer is yes, breakfast is important and does play a serious role in all of these and other aspects of health. Proper nutrition is important for your child's wellness, and that includes breakfast. If your child suffers from anxiety or attention disorders and doesn't always eat breakfast, you'll likely want to convince them otherwise after reading this!
A Booster of Energy
If our body is a gas tank, food is the fuel — so it makes sense that in order to operate our bodies, we'd have to fuel them up. Eating breakfast is associated with greater physical activity. Eating breakfast is not associated with increased food intake on the whole. Because you need food to create cellular energy, it makes the most sense to fuel up early so your child's body is able to tackle all that the day has to offer.
Fuel for Brain Function
You thought correctly if you assumed that eating breakfast helps with brain function. It does, but there's a caveat: your child needs to eat a healthy nutritious breakfast in order to reap the brainy benefits. You can help facilitate this by finding breakfast foods they enjoy, to make the experience a more pleasant one. It's also easier to practice mindfulness with one's brain at full function.
A Weight Regulator
Some nutritionists and wellness experts claim that all that matters is how many calories you eat in a day, not when you eat them. Studies have shown, however, that the body uses energy from food better in the morning than when we eat at other times of the day. To keep your child from having to deal with weight issues more than necessary, encourage eating a daily breakfast.
Important for Heart Health
Surprisingly, it isn't only your brain, metabolism and energy levels that are benefited by breakfast; your heart is, too. The American Heart Association found a negative correlation between skipping breakfast and heart health.
A Source of Higher Fiber
Fiber plays a vital role in gut health, and gut health plays a vital role in producing the serotonin that your child needs to keep anxiety down. By eating high-fiber foods for breakfast, whether they are common breakfast foods such as fruits or whole grains, or less common ones such as legumes, your child will be adding to their daily intake of fiber.
Your child’s wellness can be improved by ensuring you include this important meal in their daily routine. Because sugary foods can make attention issues worse, and foods with quality proteins and fats can help improve them, this is the perfect opportunity for your whole family to employ mindfulness around food consumption.
About the Author:
References: 1. https://discoverbrillia.com/pages/five-pillars-nutrition 2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/2/539/4576482 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3737458/ 4. https://discoverbrillia.com/pages/five-pillars-mindfulness-techniques-for-children 5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969247/ 6. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000476