Did you know that skipping breakfast can affect your child's growth and reduce their academic performance?
A 2018 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that children who regularly skipped breakfast had an increased amount of processed sugar in their diet. They also had a lower intake of key nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Children who skip breakfast have reduced concentration because of low blood sugar levels. They try to make up for these low blood sugar levels by eating sugar-rich food and snacks throughout the day. As a result their bodies do not get the key nutrients, vitamins and minerals that they need to grow and function healthily.
A study earlier this year conducted by Osaka University, Japan, and published in The International Journal of Obesity found that children who skipped breakfast were 18-116% more likely to be overweight or obese than children who ate breakfast.
Millions of children return to school this week after the summer holiday break. Most parents understand the need to give their children a healthy breakfast before they start their school day. But busy parents find it hard enough getting their children to have breakfast at all, let alone eat a healthy breakfast.
There is no doubt that giving a child an unhealthy breakfast is better than them not having breakfast at all. But giving a child a healthy breakfast has a direct effect on their academic performance throughout the school day.
What Is An Unhealthy Breakfast?
Supermarket breakfast cereals are notoriously high in added sugar. The obvious culprits are cereals such as Sugar Puffs, Frosties and "choco" cereals. But even "non-sweet" cereals have a high added sugar content. Whenever you buy a breakfast cereal, always look at the "Carbohydrates - of which sugars" figure in the nutritional value table. The lower the "sugars" value, the better.
However, try convincing a child to eat a bland cereal that is not sweet. The chances are that they will sprinkle some sugar on top. Sprinkling sugar on top of a low-sugar cereal defeats the object. Processed supermarket "honey" might seem a healthy alternative, but it can actually be worse than adding sugar.
But cereals are always a better choice than cheap breakfast or cereal bars. Parents often give their child one of these if there is no time for a proper breakfast. Try looking at the "sugars" value of some of these cereal bars. You might as well put sugar in a bag and give it to your child rather give them a cheap cereal bar.
Organic or natural sugar cereal bars are a healthy alternative, but unless you are a millionaire you probably won't be giving £2 cereal bars to your children every day.
What Is A Healthy Breakfast
Milk, oatmeal, eggs, yoghurt, toast, peanut butter, fruits, nuts, honey... all are some ways to make your child's breakfast healthier.
And on those odd days when you are running late, a glass of milk is far better than anything else. However, it is still not an alternative to a healthy breakfast.
Most busy parents do not have the benefit of preparing healthy cooked breakfasts for their children. However, adding half a teaspoon of raw organic honey to your child's breakfast is a quick and easy way to increase its nutritional value while still making it taste nice. You can easily raw organic honey to milk, oats, cereal, yoghurt or toast.
Five Benefits Of Adding Raw Organic Honey To Your Child's Breakfast
There are many benefits of adding half a teaspoon of raw honey to your child's breakfast. Here are five of them:
1) Your child is likely to concentrate more throughout the school days
A breakfast containing raw organic honey increases your child's blood sugar level, which in turn increases the energy available to the brain. The brain needs energy to concentrate, learn and grow.
2) Your child is less likely to binge eat on sugary snacks throughout the day
A 2010 study by the University of Wyoming found that adding raw honey to breakfast instead of sugar activates hormones that suppress the appetite. "Feeling full" means that your child is less likely to binge eat on sugary snacks throughout the day in order to bring up their blood sugar levels.
3) Your child will be less "hyperactive" than when eating foods containing added sugars
Any parents will be familiar with the effect that sweets and sugary foods have on a child's temperament and behaviour. Raw organic honey contains natural sugars that, like fruit, do not cause a "sugar rush".
4) Your child will have more energy for physical activities and sports
As we describe in another blog post in more detail, raw honey can improve physical performance in sports. An April 2001 study at the Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory at the University of Memphis, United States, found that using raw honey as an energy source during exercise significantly improved performance and power during cycling trials.
5) Your child is less likely to get sick
Schools are festering grounds for all types of viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. A 2004 study at the University of California-Davis found that people who ate raw honey every day for 29 days had higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in their blood. Raw honey, especially active honeys such as our 20+ Active Coffee Bean Honey and 10+ Active Orange Blossom Honey, contains polyphenols, which protect the body from disease. If your child gets sick frequently, try one of these two active honeys to boost your child's immunity.
Our honeys most popular with children in terms of taste are our Award Winning Rivera Gum Honey from Uruguay, White Velvet Mesquite Honey from Mexico and runny Award Winning Rainforest Honey from Brazil.