Breakfast: why is it essential?

Often overlooked, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. A Spanish study published on August 23, 2022 reveals that young people who skip it have more behavioral problems. Advice from Béatrice de Reynal, nutritionist.

  Breakfast: why is it essential?

How important is breakfast?

Breakfast should be called big lunch because it is the key meal of the day . Indeed, its composition depends on all the other meals of the day. With an unbalanced breakfast, we will necessarily throw ourselves on lunch and then we will also eat a lot at dinner, which is far from being a good thing.

If you skip breakfast, that is to say, you quickly eat something sweet, you will not have enough calories. This inconsistent meal does not give enough energy, which leads to sluggishness and a drop in attention in the morning.

According to one Spanish study published this August 23 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition , children and adolescents who do not eat a balanced breakfast at home are also more likely to develop behavioral problems. His results reveal that certain foods eaten at breakfast promote these disorders more than others. Thus, milk, chocolate, cocoa, yogurt, bread, toast and cereals are associated with lower risks of behavioral disorders while surprisingly cheese and ham are linked to higher risks. The authors of this study also reveal that these behavioral problems are higher among those who eat breakfast outside their home.

What is the ideal breakfast for children?

In the morning, the ideal meal for children would consist of:

  • of one fruit. A glass of Orange juice , pineapple, apple or other multivitamin juices, is a very good alternative to fresh fruit. You can also vary with compotes .
  • of one dairy of your choice (milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • of one grain product like bread or even cereal flakes which are very different from the packets of cereals that are offered to children today. These are way too sweet. , I consider them like candies, that's why children love them.

So what types of cereal-based products to offer in the morning?

It is important to vary the pleasures especially in terms of cereal-based foods.

  • On a le choix entre des traditional baguettes, Viennese baguettes, brioche, whole wheat rolls , etc. Of course, we can add butter (for fun and good nutrients) and jam because you also need a little quick sugar, while being reasonable of course! It's important to make breakfast enjoyable . And then, the interest of bread is that by chewing it, it contributes to satiety.
  • A tip: nut buns or mini cereal bread balls are very practical because they can be eaten on the way to school when the child does not have much time.
  • Some cookies like small butters and ladyfingers may also be suitable for breakfast.

How to make children want to have a full breakfast?

Parents have a duty to show their child the way! If they don't have breakfast, the little ones won't understand why they have to have one. It is therefore necessary to guide them because the breakfast does not retract. If a child does not eat in the morning, he will not last all morning . For me, breakfast is prepared in advance: the child must go to bed earlier and take a lighter dinner. The child will therefore have an appetite when he wakes up. But it is obvious that in France, we do not eat enough in the morning.

Do we need to 'innovate' a bit during the holidays?

During the holidays, the rhythm is modified. The children go to bed later and are also open to other things. So in the morning, why not taste some regional products or else take the time to make pancakes  ?
The brunch is also a very nice meal that allows you to mix sweet and savory foods. It is a 'big' breakfast that allows you to eat more consistently and without taboos of bread, ham, an omelet, etc.
Thanks to the nutritionist Beatrice de ReynalSource