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Why You Should Swap Your Child’s Cereal

healthy breakfast for children

You have probably heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And when it comes to our kids, we all want to feed them a breakfast of champions. But kids have minds and taste buds of their own and often gravitate to the foods that ‘taste good.’ These include breakfast favorites such as sugary cereals that lack essential nutrients needed for healthy growing kids. The good news is there is a healthy cereal that’s been around for ages that has been shown to benefit children and adults of all ages -- oatmeal.

A recent study examining oatmeal consumption, nutrient intake, diet quality and weight among children aged two to eighteen found that children who consumed oatmeal were at lower risk for having central adiposity and being obese.

The study found that eating oatmeal was associated with a desirable intake of fiber and several vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper and potassium. Those who ate oatmeal also had lower fat, cholesterol and sodium intake. In addition, those who ate oatmeal had a higher intake of whole grains in their diets, replacing refined grains and empty calories. Breakfast is clearly a meal that should not be skipped. How can you use the information from the study to improve your morning breakfast routine?

Involving your kids in assembling a balanced breakfast bowl can boost their enthusiasm to try oatmeal. Cook plain oats and let them add a fat and a protein source, such as peanut butter or Greek Yogurt. Kids can also add their own sweetness by topping it with fruit or maple syrup, and add flavor with freebie spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Oatmeal can be prepared and served several ways; keep trying until you find one that your kids will ask for every morning.

Written by Jillian Allen, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.


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