The Importance of Breakfast: How the first meal impacts learning and energy levels

importance of breakfast

We have all frequently come across the adage, ” Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” But have you ever considered the validity of this advice, especially concerning our kids?

In this blog post, we explore the significance of breakfast and its effect on children’s learning capabilities and overall energy levels.

Also Read: 5 Healthy Breakfast Ideas with Oats

  1. Fuel for the brain
  2. Breakfast is fuel for the brain. Research shows that when kids eat breakfast, it helps them learn better. A well-balanced breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive function, increased focus, increased attention, and memory recall which are key ingredients for effective learning.

    Neglecting breakfast can affect children’s cognitive abilities, learning capacity, and energy levels, and consequently, their productivity and well-being.

    A study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience highlighted the benefits of a nutritious breakfast in children:

    1. Higher attention
    2. Higher efficiency
    3. Increased productivity
    4. Better recall and memory

    Similarly, a study from the American Dietetic Association brought out the fact that eating breakfast positively affects learning in children in terms of behaviour and school performance. Without breakfast, students are more likely to have trouble focusing on their work and may struggle with complex mental tasks involving memory and logic.

  3. Sustained Energy levels
  4. Breakfast also plays an essential role in determining children’s energy levels. After going without food for a good 8-10 hours post-sleep time, a good breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ from the previous night, replenishing the supply of glucose and other essential nutrients to keep energy levels up throughout the day.

    In the absence of this energy boost, children may experience fatigue, sleepiness, moodiness, and reduced physical endurance. Children who eat breakfast are found to be more energetic and physically active.

    Also Read: Fun Fruit-Based Recipes for Kids to Try

  5. Healthy Habits and Nutritional Intake
  6. Eating breakfast regularly sets children up for a lifetime of healthy habits. Teaching children about nutrition early on is crucial for their future food choices. Healthy breakfast of dairy, veggies, fruits & whole grains is crucial for kids. Parents can help by providing nutritious options.

    Also Read: The Fiber and Antioxidants in Blueberries for Kids

How to make Breakfast an Interesting Affair:

  1. Plan in advance: Hectic morning routines can lead to children missing out on their breakfast. Ensure you prepare for the next day’s breakfast the night before.
  2. Keep it simple: Hard Boiled eggs, peanut butter sandwiches, fruits and nuts, cereal, milk, toast or bagel, cheese, granola bars, millet bars, fruit and yoghurt are some of the good breakfast choices which can easily be put together in the morning.
  3. Make breakfast a family affair: Children learn through observation. Hence, eating breakfast together with your kids whenever possible is a great way to demonstrate and model healthy eating habits to them. Kids who eat breakfast with their families often choose healthier breakfast options. Adults who consistently begin their day with a nutritious breakfast become role models to their children.
  4. Get creative: On “no-mood-to-eat” days, try newer ways of providing children with their early morning dose of nutrition. A healthy smoothie, with milk, yoghurt and a piece of fruit like a banana, is a good option on such days instead of a more traditional breakfast ‘meal’. Think about ways to make breakfast more interesting and fun. For example, a wholemeal toast with sliced banana and honey drizzled on top. Presenting breakfast in fun and attractive ways can motivate children to eat. Try serving colourful fruit salads, yoghurt parfaits, or sandwiches cut in different shapes. A little creativity can make a balanced breakfast more appealing to kids.
  5. Involve them: Allowing children to participate in breakfast preparation can create interest and enthusiasm around the meal. Even simple tasks such as pouring milk, spreading jam on toast, or chopping fruits under supervision can make them more inclined to eat what they have helped prepare. Teaching children the nutritional value of foods will help them eat healthily. You can also get your children involved in picking out options for their breakfast. Encourage them to choose their breakfast options when you are out grocery shopping.
  6. Follow a routine: Children thrive on routines and predictability. Having a consistent routine each morning that includes a nutritious breakfast encourages the development of healthy habits. Inculcating such habits early on in life helps children follow a healthier lifestyle in the future.

Breakfast plays a vital role in impacting the learning and energy levels of children. Skipping breakfast not only reduces their ability to focus but also affects their cognitive abilities. Low energy levels reduce their stamina and participation in physical activities.

Hence, having a well-rounded breakfast—featuring whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and veggies—is crucial. Whether it is oatmeal, scrambled eggs, or a healthy smoothie, a good breakfast is key to children’s well-being.

At EuroSchool, we teach our students healthy eating habits. Having breakfast before coming to class can positively impact their ability to focus, learn and participate actively in classroom activities. Our panel of in-house dieticians, food experts, and nutritionists ensure that students have access to a balanced morning meal.

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