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A Nutritious Breakfast Jumpstarts the Day

by Lisa R. Ramey
January/February 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-nutritious-breakfast-jumpstarts-the-day/5019702/

A nutritious breakfast can jumpstart a child’s day, both academically and physically. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many children:

• Between 10% to 30% of children skip breakfast in the United States (Ramersaud et al., 2005).
• Breakfast skippers consume less energy, vitamins, and minerals than children who eat breakfast. The resulting deficiencies may persist throughout the day.
• The diet of breakfast skippers is usually of lower quality with increased snack consumption that is higher in carbohydrates and energy (Dubois et al., 2009).
• Children start with high fruit and vegetable intake when foods are introduced at 6 months. Nutritious food intake then decreases with one-third of 24-month-old children consuming no fruit, 60% baked desserts, 20% candy, and 44% sweetened beverages per day.
• The most commonly consumed vegetable at the age of 2 years is French fries (Gidding et al., 2006).

Eating patterns become engrained within the first 3-5 years; hence the vicious cycle of poor eating habits starts early and continues to worsen.

When children eat breakfast daily:

• The nutritional content appears to be of higher quality.
• Children tend to eat foods with higher nutritional content later in the day.

Contributing factors to the consumption of a ...

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