Break for breakfast: Tips for a healthy start
With the school under way, your child may be in a hurry to get ready in the morning – and that includes trying to fit in time to eat breakfast and pack a lunch.
Since diet plays a huge role in childhood obesity, it’s important to make sure a child is eating right even when you’re not there to supervise or cook. Four out of five kids from 12 to 19 years old have “poor diets” – high in salt and sugar-sweetened beverages and low in fruits, vegetables, fiber and lean protein.
In Minnesota, nearly one out of four kids has weight problems. Among Minnesota adolescents ages 10 to 17, about 11.1 percent are obese.
“Beginning your day with a healthy breakfast is a good way to wake up your body and brain,” said Julie Boman, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
How do you make sure your child gets a healthy start? Boman weighs in with these four tips:
- Stock the cupboards and refrigerator with healthy choices. They can include whole grain cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt and eggs.
- Make it convenient. If you buy strawberries, wash and slice them up so they’re ready for your child to grab and go.
- Whenever possible, encourage your child to sit down and have breakfast.
- If your child is older, plan the menu for the week together.