It’s pretty alarming, but 1 in 7 kids are hitting school without breakfast. Yep, I know … 1 in 7! Surprised?

And this is happening in Australia…our own backyard!!!

So rather than being ready to learn, our kids are experiencing tummy rumbles, lower concentration levels and fuzzy brains simply because they are running on empty … and by 9am.

So why are we letting our kids go to school without breakfast?

When racing the clock, it’s easy to bypass breakfast and head for the door. After all, mornings are already crazy enough, aren’t they? With 2 young boys and a pretty hectic lifestyle, I get it.

A recent survey we ran asked our mums what best described their morning routine, and 36% admit it’s mostly “frantic and fuelled by coffee”. Yep. That sounds about right, hey! After all, ain’t no mum got time to slice fruit, flip pancakes or fry eggs. Especially when the kids might decide they’re “not hungry”. Sound familiar?

But here’s the thing. You don’t have to fry, flip or even slice if you don’t have the time. You don’t have to make an epic Insta-worthy brekkie every morning. All you have to do is feed them something. Anything that gives them energy, vitamins and minerals to start the day.

A basic breakfast is quick and easy and so much better than nothing. And an alarming number of kids are getting nothing! In fact, 43% of kids sometimes skip brekkie and 14% of primary school kids miss breakfast every single day¹. 

breakfast cerealFolks, it’s time to ditch the guilt and pressure around creating the perfect breakfast with a few simple tweaks to our morning routines. And it’s a lot easier than you think.

cereal-breakfast-jamesStop the excuses. Start with cereal for breakfast.

It’s no surprise that cereal is one of the easiest meals on the planet to make and it’s a great way to start their day. It takes 30 seconds to grab a bowl, fill it with cereal and add milk. Voila … 30 seconds and you’re done!  It takes 4 times as long to boil the kettle and make a cuppa … get my drift?

Gosh I’ve fed my kids cereal for dinner some nights too … and know I’m not alone!  Whatever works and as long as they’re fed, right?!

Plus, cereal for breakfast is actually really good for them, even if you don’t have time to add fruit. The below speaks for itself!

cereal for breakfast nutrition

A recent analysis of data from the ABS Australian Health² revealed kids who ate cereal for breakfast had the highest intakes of dietary fibre and nutrients including calcium and iron – key nutrients where Aussie children are falling short.  To me, you’re already winning!!

Compared to children that ate other foods for breakfast, cereal eaters had 32% more iron, 30% more riboflavin, 23% more calcium, and 9% less salt in their daily diets.” – Nutrition Journal

And let’s face it, most kids can manage to make themselves a bowl of cereal. Even those who can’t seem to find their socks or remember where they put their homework folder! Sound familiar? And, while they are making themselves breakfast, get them to pour a bowl for you too!

Because it’s not just kids who are skipping brekkie. Parents are too.

breakfast cereal

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. For EVERYONE. Every day.

It’s just as harmful to skip breakfast when you’re a mum as it is when you’re a kid. Sure, you don’t have to go to school, but you do have to adult. And adulting while hungry never ends well. Does it?!

So here’s 8 reasons we ALL NEED brekkie each day: 

  • Stabilises blood sugar levels – Which regulates appetite and energy levels, and means you’re less likely to be hungry and overeat during the rest of the day.³
  • Lower BMI – Those who opt for cereal for breakfast may have a lower BMI and a 12% reduced risk of overweight and obesity.4
  • Improves grades for literacy – All the while minimising hunger pangs and poor concentration. A good-quality breakfast has been shown to help improve grades for literacy.5
  • May help reduce heart disease risk factors – Recommendations from the American Heart Association include a planned approach to eating and having a greater share of energy intake earlier in the day, as it might help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.6
  • May reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes – Choose wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereals and you could reduce your risk of type II diabetes by 24%.7
  • Keeps you going (and regular) – So you can keep up with the kids AND keep the belly bloat away.
  • Makes you strong – Plenty of breakfast cereals contain calcium. And most kids eat cereal with milk (or yoghurt) which means they are getting a good daily dose of calcium, required for growing bodies and healthy bones.
  • Gives you the nutrients you need – Cereal provides fibre, iron, calcium and magnesium. 

boys-breakfast-table-cereal


My tips to get breakfast routine ready 

Like most mums, I used to sometimes let my boys go to school without breakfast. I would just pack them a bigger lunch. But seeing how important breakfast is for them and for me, we now have breakfast every day, cereal most days, but they don’t get out the door without something in their belly!

It took three easy steps to shake up our morning routine. Here’s what we now do.

  1. Every week I stock up on three different breakfast cereals. We alternate between oats, wheat biscuits, muesli, crunchy shapes, bran, even cocoa-puffs on occasion. Variety is the spice of life, right?!
  2. Every morning after the kids (attempt) to make their beds and brush their teeth, they pour themselves a bowl of cereal. They are 6 and 8 so most days they do it with minimal spillage. They choose what they want and that tends to work really well. They know which ones are sometimes cereals and it’s all about moderation, right?
  3. On the days when I’m actually ahead of schedule I will dice up some fruit and add some yoghurt to their cereal bowls. And mine too. Or I’ll blend it all into a smoothie to take with me on the run.

And that’s it. 3 steps. 5 minutes. And we’re good to go.

alex-breakfast-cereal-wheat-biscuits

This is a sponsored article for Love Cereal4Brekkie.

References: 

  1. Cereal4Brekkie
  2. Nutrients 
  3. Nutrition Bulletin
  4. Advanced Nutrition 
  5. Health Education Research 
  6. American Heart Association 
  7. Cereal4Brekkie

For more info and for all health references, please visit Cereal4Brekkie http://www.cereal4brekkie.org.au/health-professional-resources/

Author

Belinda Jennings is a fun-loving mum who’s a passionate advocate for community and connection. As the founder of the Mum Central Network she’s committed to celebrating the journey that is Australian parenthood. When she’s not tap, tap, tapping at the keyboard Belinda can be found happily wrangling two small boys and loving on her superstar husband. Good conversation, close friends and fine chocolate are her chosen weapons for daily survival. She believes life’s too short for bad coffee, folding fitted sheets and not wearing your favourite shoes.

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