Feed Your Brood Breakfast

Keep them at a healthy weight


You are what you eat, but if you’re a growing boy or girl, when you eat can be just as important as what.

A recent study indicates that kids who routinely eat breakfast are more likely to have a lower (thus healthier) body-mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight which is an indicator of obesity and good health in general.

The study followed 625 children in San Antonio, TX, from fourth through sixth grade by annually asking them if, over a given three-day period, they could recite what they ate for breakfast.

Those who had eaten breakfast every day had a BMI in the 65th percentile (considered healthy); those who only ate breakfast four of the nine days had a BMI in the 95th percentile (considered overweight).

While some had eggs or sausage and bread, most of the kids ate cereal with milk for breakfast. The combination of these two foods, which are often fortified with vitamins and other nutrients essential for good health, means that youngsters who dig into a bowl of healthy cereal will get more vitamin D, B-3, B-12, riboflavin, calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium than those who eat less cereal or none at all. They’ll also get a tad more fiber, calories, fat, and sugar eating cereal.


"Breakfast Cereal Tied to Lower BMI for Kids," by Kathryn Doyle, Reuters Health, 4/19/13

5 Quick, Healthy Breakfasts

Mix up your kids' cereal-and-milk routine with some of these other fast breakfast fixes:

  • Fruit & cheese: Provides a serving’s worth of fiber in the fruit and calcium in the cheese
  • Peanut butter/almond butter/cashew butter waffle: Delivers protein and fiber (choose whole-grain waffles)
  • Strawberry shake or smoothie: The strawberries give you fiber; low-fat milk or soy milk, and a dollop of honey take care of your taste buds while adding calcium and vitamin D. Experiment with milk alternatives like nut, rice, hemp, or oat milks.
  • Fresh berries, yogurt, and granola: Tell the kids this is a breakfast sundae, they’ll never know they're getting a healthy serving of fruit, dairy, and fiber.
  • Breakfast bars: Really pressed for time? Keep a box or a handful of carefully selected breakfast bars in the pantry. Choose bars high in fiber, low in sugar, and whatever vitamins and minerals you can get.