With all the talk about weight loss and the benefits of intermittent fasting, sometimes it’s easy to think everyone should be losing weight and skipping meals. Certainly not the case when it comes to the average child. Kids need food – and lots of it, especially if they’re active. That starts with a healthy breakfast; if nothing else, to ensure they perform well in the classroom.
Case in point: a study published in Frontiers in Public Health that evaluated academic performance among secondary-school students based on the frequency with which they ate breakfast. Children who rarely ate breakfast scored, on average, two grades lower in various course subjects (assessment tests) compared to students who regularly ate breakfast. Breakfast habits were evaluated based on self-reports by students on all food and drink consumed over a one-week period (seven days), culminating on the day of testing. Researchers defined “breakfast” as any food or drink containing at least 5 percent of total daily energy expenditure consumed before 10:00 a.m. on a school day.
So, what’s a good breakfast (beyond the energy requirements stipulated above)? It can vary by the child and their preferences. As long as it’s balanced and as low as possible in sugar / processed carbs (both of which will burn quickly and lead to fatigue later in the day), it doesn’t necessarily matter. Just get your child to the breakfast table and send them off to school in a position to achieve.