Back to School Breakfasts

Out to make life easier for busy families, Kate Percy - mum, marathon runner, cook and food for fitness writer - has devised her "Top 5 Back to School Breakfast Tips to Boost Body and Brain" each geared to helping kids get into the right frame of mind for those 'back to school' days. Passionate about the link between good food and how children perform and feel, Kate hooks kids into eating the right foods for sustained and healthy energy using sport and what sports stars eat to inspire them. "When kids hear that Usain Bolt or Jessica Ennis-Hill eat fruit for breakfast, they're more likely to do the same," explains Kate, "it helps them actually see the purpose of eating, say, porridge rather than chocolate cereals."

What's more, Kate's recipes prove healthy doesn't have to be complicated, boring or simply "yuk"!

5 Back to School Breakfast Tips to Boost Body and Brain

1.Would you put Diesel into a Ferrari? It’s quite simple. Just like a car, the body needs fuel. Kids aren't going to get through the morning running on empty! Put the wrong type of fuel in the car, it won’t function very well. The body works in the same way. The better fuel kids put in their tank, the better they'll feel, the better they'll perform. 2. Slow Down! Ditch the processed and refined cereals and white bread. These are 'fast-release' foods, that is, they release their sugars into the bloodstream quickly. providing a rapid spike in energy, followed by a dramatic slump. This leaves kids tired, hungry and fidgety. Go slow with 'slow-release' foods such as porridge oats, wholegrain cereals, and wholemeal bread release their sugars gradually. These will help kids:

  • concentrate for longer,

  • focus better in lessons,

  • sustain energy for longer ... and their mood too!

3.Mix it up Eating a combo of carbohydrate, protein and fats at breakfast will help sustain kid's energy even more, as well as promote healthy growth of their bones and muscles. For breakfast, Usain Bolt, likes to eat ackee (a Jamaican fruit), cooked with saltfish, yam, potato and banana, Jessica Ennis-Hill feasts on muesli with yoghurt, fruit, and seeds before training. Children probably won't fancy fish for breakfast, even if this is allegedly Usain's favourite, but porridge with milk and fruit or poached eggs on toast are great alternatives! See recipe : Go Faster Porridge with Blueberries and Toasted Walnuts & Honey Top tip: Leave your porridge oats to soak the night before; they'll take just a couple of minutes to heat through in the morning. 4. Mind your pees ... Children have inadequate thirst mechanisms and will invariably forget to drink regularly throughout the school day. Even slight dehydration can reduce concentration, so, just as athletes do, encourage the kids to look at the colour of their pee! If it is a pale straw-like colour, then they're well-hydrated! A darker yellow is an indication that they should drink more. Water or milk is best for children at breakfast. 5. Supersize on Omega-3's Omega 3's, found in nuts and seeds and vegetable oils provide fantastic energy. They’ll also boost kid's mood and brain function! Leave a bowl of sunflower seeds or walnuts on the breakfast table for kids to sprinkle onto their cereal. Eggs, too, contain omega 3's. If your child doesn't like eggs, disguise them in these delicious oat and banana blinis.

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