School day mornings in a house with teenagers may not be the most fun time. You may need to call to them several times after their alarms go off in order to rouse them out of bed. Getting them up is hard enough, and getting them to eat a healthy breakfast before they dash out the door can be even harder. Teach your teenagers the value of a good breakfast to give them a healthy start to their day and the rest of their lives.
Importance of Breakfast
When a teenager eats a healthy breakfast, she gets a jump-start on her day. A good breakfast provides the protein, carbohydrates and vitamins she needs to survive her classes until the lunch bell rings. A teenager who takes the time to eat breakfast, either at her kitchen table or while waiting at the bus stop, is more likely to be able to focus and succeed in school than a teenager who skips breakfast.
Benefits of Breakfast
Eating breakfast daily provides teenagers with lifelong benefits as well. Teenagers who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who do not and make more healthy food choices, according to an article in “Science Daily.” Breakfast eaters are also less likely to end up obese or overweight as adults. Teenagers who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to get all the minerals and nutrients they need in a day. A study at Baylor College of Medicine found that one in three teenagers in Louisiana who skipped breakfast had an iron deficiency, twice the rate of teenagers who ate breakfast.
Healthy Breakfast Defined
A healthy breakfast should include fiber, protein, fruit and/or vegetables, and a small amount of fat, according to the Center for Young Women’s Health. It can be as simple as a bowl of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal with a half cup of skim milk and a piece of fruit. Teenagers who find that they are hungry by second period may want to eat a breakfast that contains a lot of protein or fiber, as those two nutrients keep the body full longer. A scrambled or fried egg is a simple, quick way to get a protein boost in the morning.
Breakfast on the Go
Even teenagers who struggle to make it to the bus stop on time can fit a healthy breakfast into their day. Pack a breakfast for your teenager much as you would pack a lunch. Healthy, portable breakfast options include a small carton of yogurt, a granola bar and a banana. You can also prepare a breakfast burrito consisting of a tortilla, some vegetables and a scrambled egg, heat it up and hand it to your child as he runs out the door.
Warnings About Breakfast
Some breakfast foods don’t qualify as healthy. Doughnuts may be quick and simple, but they will most likely just make your teenager crash midway through homeroom. You may also want to avoid serving sugary toaster pastries for breakfast for the same reason. If you decide to purchase prepackaged frozen breakfasts, make sure they have plenty of protein and fiber and are low in fat. Stay away from any processed foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils and trans fat, which can lead to heart disease later in life.