Importance of breakfast
It is important for children to have breakfast every day, but even more crucial that they eat a healthy nutritious breakfast. Therefore, beware of some children’s breakfast cereals, as they may be high in levels of sugar and salt. It would be better to offer your child an oat or bran based cereal and to sweeten this with chopped fresh fruit. Milk, yoghurt and eggs are also foods high in protein and calcium good for strong bones, teeth and brain development and provide an excellent breakfast choice.
A good healthy meal at the start of the day is the perfect way to provide our children with the energy that they need and the right nutrients to keep their levels of concentration up, maximising the opportunity for learning. Many studies have scientifically proven that children who eat a healthy breakfast have a better general level of health and well being than those who do not.
The number of children in the UK with type one and type two diabetes is on the rise and this is a real concern. It is thought that diabetes can be inherited through genetic characteristics, although many believe that poor diet, lack of exercise and a poor lifestyle also have a strong part to play.
A good balanced diet and regular exercise are both factors that will influence the body weight of your child and this is increasingly important as there have been studies that have identified a correlation between those children that are obese or seriously overweight and the onset of type two diabetes.
A good nutritional diet consisting of low fat, lean proteins and nutrient rich foods, complemented by regular exercise are the best ingredients to a healthy body and mind for your child.
In the ever more technological world in which we live it has never been more important to encourage and ensure that our children get regular exercise. Guidelines suggest that on average children between the ages of 5 and 18 years should get an hour of exercise every day. This can be achieved easily through our daily routines with activities such as walking to school, playing in the playground, riding a bike or scooter or walking a dog.
The benefits of frequent exercise for children are wide ranging and can result in better sleep, healthy bones and muscles, a healthy body weight and children who exercise often have higher levels of self esteem.
Brain Health & Development
A study of 4,000 children published by Bristol University suggested that three-year-olds who eat a diet high in sugar and processed foods have a lower IQ at the age of eight than children who eat a healthy diet that were rich in salad, rice, pasta, fish, fruit and vegetables. These findings illustrate the importance of nutrition and our children having a balanced diet. Some foods that are considered superfoods for brain health and development in children are oily fish, blueberries, high fibre and whole grain foods.