Importance of having breakfast

With the children going back to school and the routine kicking back in, remember to make time in the morning so that the whole family can have breakfast before leaving.

It’s proven, people who take a good breakfast have better physical and intellectual performance throughout the day.

According to Breakfast for learning, a national non-profit organization dedicated to child nutrition programs in Canada, when children are well-nourished, they have a better memory, a better aptitude to solve problems, they are more creative and globally, they perform better in school1. Yet, in Canada, 31% of elementary school children and 62% of high school students do not eat a healthy breakfast daily2. In Quebec only, 11% of children aged 9 to 12 and 36% of teenagers confessed to skipping breakfast at least once a week3.

A few more minutes in the morning routine would be enough for you and your family to eat properly. With a little planning and a revised schedule, you can eat something else than a snack on the go. 

The evening

You can save some time in the morning by getting ready the evening before. You could either prepare your breakfast in advance or set some items of the morning routine. 

  • If you prepare lunches, prepare everything you can the day before. Snacks, heatable main courses, sandwiches, fruits and vegetable portions, drinks, etc. Everything you want to eat during the day is easier to prepare during the evening than in the morning rush. When everything is ready, you only have to fill the lunch boxes in the morning.  
  • Because the whole family doesn’t eat the same thing for breakfast, you could save some time by setting everything up the day before. For example, you could set the table and prepare some ingredients after dinner. Everyone can give a hand by putting the tablemats, utensils, glasses and plates on the table. Place the non-refrigerated ingredients on the table or on the counter. In the morning everyone will be able to see a few options at a glance and it will help them make their choice quickly and eat better. 
  • Also prepare the mixes. For example, for an omelette, cut vegetables and break the eggs in a bowl. In the morning, you will only have to cook it. For French toasts, you prepare the egg and milk mixture the evening before and in the morning, you will only have to dip your bread and cook it. 
  • To save even more time in the morning, you could prepare the clothes for the next day, make sure that the school or daycare bags are ready and shower or take a bath in the evening instead of in the morning. 
In the morning

If all your ingredients are ready because you prepared it the evening before, it is easy to make a healthy and complete breakfast that will combine at least three of the four food groups. It could be a fruit or a vegetable (or pure juice), cereals, milk, cheese or yogurt and a portion of meat or an alternative like eggs, peanut butter or nuts. the Egg Farmers of Canada suggest a few quick breakfast recipes. Take a crack at it to vary your menu.

Did you know?
  • 60 % of Canadians aged 18 or over report eating breakfast every day? 
  • More Canadian women (68 %) eat in the morning than men (53 %)?
  • 15 % of Canadians say they never eat breakfast on weekdays? 
  • No more than 10 minutes are allowed for breakfast for 49% of Canadians and only 3 Canadians out of 4 spend 15 minutes or less for that meal? 
  • The most popular breakfast foods are cereals, toasts, bagels, muffins, pastries, fruits and fruit juice?  

Source: PasseportSanté.net, 2006 (French)

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