With statistics continually showing increasing childhood obesity rates - more than one in 25 children in Year 6 are now classed as “severely obese”, according to figures obtained by the Local Government Association, - it is an issue many parents are keen to address.
So how can you ensure your child starts the day off right? We asked British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson and paediatric dietitian Aisling Pigott for some healthy, yet quick, ideas for kids’ breakfasts.
“We need to be realistic and understand that we all live busy lives,” says Pigott. “We shouldn’t demonise foods and make parents feel guilty for giving their children cereal.”
Pigott adds that parents should find a breakfast that works for them and their own family routine. And it doesn’t have to be complicated.
“If cereal is something that suits you as a parent that’s fine but make sure it is low sugar and high fibre,” says Pigott. Many cereals do contain high levels of sugar, but Pigott says there are plenty that are fine for children. “The best ones are oat-based,” she says. “Weetabix or wholewheat biscuits are great as they tend to be low in sugar and it’s quick and easy. This is in comparison to cereals such as Cheerios which are high in sugar.”
When buying cereal for your kids, compare labels and choose the option with the least sugar per bowl. Find out the cereals which contain the most sugar here.
2. Porridge and fruit.
Pigott says an ideal breakfast includes some carbohydrates, some protein and some fruit and vegetables. “The perfectly healthy balanced breakfast would be oats (with nothing added), milk and some fruit on top, such as banana or berries,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be be complicated but that’s a great option and will keep them full through until lunch.”
Try out this banana porridge with raspberries recipe here.
3. Egg/beans on toast.
If you’re looking for a slightly more time-intensive alternative or something to make the kids on the weekend, Pigott says a good option that’s high in fibre is eggs or baked beans on toast, as long as you choose wholemeal toast. “It’s quite filling and not too complicated or long-winded,” she adds.
If you’re going for eggs, find out the healthiest way to cook them here.