Breakfast vital for kids

  • The Washington Post
  • Friday, August 30, 2013 2:47pm
  • Life

Casey Seidenberg, co-founder of Nourish Schools, a Washington, D.C.-based nutrition education company, answered questions about giving kids a smart start to the school year:

Q: When trying to get breakfast on the table, cereal is the quickest way to go. But are cereals such as Cheerios and Chex really all that healthy?

A: Processed cereals are not as healthful as whole-grain options such as whole oatmeal.

The grains in a processed cereal have been broken down, so they don’t provide all of the nutrition a whole grain would, and they often lack fiber, so they enter the bloodstream more quickly than a whole grain, which leaves a child hungry sooner.

A better bet for a quick breakfast is a homemade whole-grain muffin, or presoaked oatmeal that can be heated quickly.

Q: I switched the term “breakfast” to mean “eat something.” It could be scrambled eggs on toast or a meatloaf sandwich. Some days it was a serving spoon of peanut butter and a glass of milk. Other days it was homemade milkshake with frozen fruit.

A: Leftovers often make a great breakfast. We don’t need to eat the very American cereals and baked goods.

Meats and broth and greens are traditional morning meals in many countries and are a fantastic way to begin any day.

Q: My daughter who’s starting kindergarten just plain isn’t hungry in the morning. It takes at least two hours for her stomach to “wake up.”

I’ve tried smoothies, cereal, pancakes, muffins and all kinds of “treats,” but she just won’t touch anything. Any thoughts?

A: My advice would be to do three things. First, explain to your child how important breakfast is to a growing child. The website www.breakfastfirst.org has some simple statistics and easy-to-explain facts.

This might not change her behavior immediately, but it may teach her to make the right choices when away from you.

Second, see whether you can pack her something to eat on the way to school or even at her desk. If discussed in advance, many teachers will allow a child to eat something at school if there is a good reason for it.

Third, think about lighter foods such as smoothies (which I know you have tried).

Ask your child whether it would feel better for her to have a smoothie or a little fruit and plain yogurt instead of something heavier like oatmeal or a baked good. She might be more open to foods if they are labeled “lighter.”

More in Life

‘The Shape of Water’: 1950s creature feature meets 2017 allegory

Director Guillermo del Toro’s allegory bears his fetishes for monsters and surrealistic environments.

‘Ferdinand’ a modern take on the beloved children’s story

The lovable bull is back in an enjoyable but spotty animated film from the makers of “Ice Age.”

Art mimicks reality in engrosing ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’

The Korean film tells the story of an actress recovering from an affair with a married director.

Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva is the leader of the (dog) pack

Since 2012, he’s built a thriving business walking dogs while their owners are at work.

Student winners to perform concertos with Mukilteo orchestra

This annual show is a partnership with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association.

Seattle Men’s Chorus brings sassy brassy good time to Everett

The annual show, this year at the Historic Everett Theatre, has warmth of brass and pinch of sass.

This harp concert is worth the journey to Everett

Annual holiday show by Bronn and Katherine Journey is Wednesday at Everett Performing Arts Center.

Still looking for that one special recipe for the holidays?

Columnist Jan Roberts-Dominguez shares her traditional recipes for cheese soup and chocolate sauce.

How to saute mushrooms to crispy, browned perfection

Various levels of heat affect our scrumptious fungus: There’s “sweating” and then there’s “sauteing.”

Most Read