Breakfast is the first meal of the day and literally means ‘breaking the fast.’ Following a good night’s sleep, our bodies need fuel to break this overnight fast which means that breakfast plays a unique role compared to lunch or dinner.
For children aged 1-4, breakfast should provide around 20% of daily energy and nutrient requirements. What we choose for breakfast is vital because it really does help to set us up for the day and provides a great opportunity to get a wide range of important energy and nutrients into our children. Studies show that children who eat a regular healthy breakfast can consume more nutrients that are essential for healthy growth and development, compared to children who don’t.
So what do we mean by a balanced or healthy breakfast? Well, when it comes to giving your child the best start to the day the aim is to give a range of different nutrients to support their needs. We get nutrients from the food we eat so having a variety of foods from the different food groups helps us to achieve this goal. At breakfast time this might include: