Regular readers will find it unsurprising that The PediaBlog loves food, especially breakfast:
You’ve heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For your children, it gets their “motors” (and their bowels) going and provides energy for their bodies and brains to perform well in school.
We have used this space on a number of occasions to implore youngsters to start their day with this most important meal:
There are many children and teenagers who don’t start their school day with breakfast. Parents should not allow them to make this serious mistake. Some kids complain that eating breakfast makes their stomachs hurt. What they are really saying is they have to evacuate the contents of their large intestine! It takes time to get out of bed, get in (and out!) of the shower, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and get out to the bus on time. Taking care of “business” is the last thing kids want to do when time is scarce. They need to learn to allow that extra time in the mornings, and parents need to help them.
Don’t let your kids leave home without eating something: an apple or banana, some yogurt or peanut butter toast — even last night’s pizza! And the more protein they get the better, so encourage them to drink the milk at the bottom of their cereal bowls.
And make sure they leave plenty of time to poop!
Amy Norton says a new study discovers the additional benefit of preventing obesity by eating breakfast each morning:
The findings are based on 347 healthy adults — 100 of whom said they either never ate breakfast or had it “infrequently” (one to four times a week). The rest ate breakfast five to seven days out of the week.
Those regular breakfast eaters were less likely to be obese at the outset: 11 percent were, versus 27 percent of breakfast skippers. And breakfast eaters generally gained less weight over the 12-year study period.
People who said they never ate breakfast typically gained 8 pounds, while those who ate it infrequently gained 4.5 pounds. Meanwhile, people who usually ate breakfast gained just under 3 pounds, on average, the findings showed.
Norton touches on several reasons why breakfast eaters are less likely to gain excess weight:
But based on past research, breakfast fans typically eat more whole grains, vegetables and fruit throughout the day, versus people who skip the morning meal.
“Therefore,” Diekman said, “their overall food choices provide more nutrition and may be a big part of why they have a healthier weight.”
Study senior researcher Naima Covassin said breakfast eaters may differ from breakfast skippers in numerous ways. Besides making healthier food choices, she said, they may exercise more or drink less alcohol.
Still, there’s evidence that the timing of meals — not only their content — matters, according to Covassin, a senior research fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
For instance, she said, people who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat later in the day — a pattern that has been linked to heavier weight.
There are plenty of good reasons to start the day with a bite to eat and few, if any, reasons to skip breakfast altogether. (Try this homemade granola with some yogurt and milk to start your day.)