Brekkie blues for one in six children
IT HAS long been touted as the most important meal of the day, but it seems some parents aren't heeding the warnings with one in six school children regularly skipping breakfast.
The Cancer Council revealed the statistics, saying while adults should eat breakfast to perform their best, children needed it even more as their growing bodies and developing brains needed a regular intake of food to kick-start and keep going throughout the day.
Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said missing the first meal of the day was a worrying trend that was getting worse.
"Five years ago 10.8 per cent of Australian school children skipped breakfast - that's increased by 4 per cent in a very short timeframe," Ms Clift said.
"Research reinforces the importance of breakfast in improving brain function in children - they can focus better, are more alert and able to concentrate while at school.
"Making breakfast a non-negotiable meal will give children a better chance of having a healthier diet overall, reducing their risk of a range of chronic diseases long term."
Parents may not see the importance of giving children breakfast before they rush them out the door to school, but having a poor diet can lead to serious health risks.
"There are plenty of quick, nutritious and delicious options for sit down meals, or a brekkie on-the-go," Ms Clift said.
"Aim for a breakfast high in fibre, low in saturated fat and full of vitamins and minerals - and get the kids involved in preparation.
"A smoothie made from reduced-fat milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt is a great option for a healthy brekkie on the run."
Kitchen Confidence owner and chef Wayne Bryans said as a father of three, he encourages parents to make sure their children ate before heading to school."Pancakes are great as you can prepare the batter earlier, and it will last in the fridge for three to four days," Mr Bryan said.
"Porridge is low GI, these sort of quick and easy meals go a long way for the kids."
Mr Bryans said that eating habits, good and bad, were developed early and if the effort was entrenched at an early age, the better it would be later on.
"Eating habits begin early, so its important to kick start this when the children are young," he said
"Good and bad habits start at an early age.
"If you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and that's when you start to gain weight."
Mr Bryans said eggs were a great breakfast food.
"Eggs are a great winner - they tell your body that it's full," Mr Bryans said.
"High in protein and low in fat -- so all the good stuff in them.
"Not only are eggs inexpensive, but they also stave off hunger, making them a great way to start the day."
Good low-GI breakfast options include:
Smoothies made from skim milk, fresh fruit and Greek/natural yoghurt