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The nutritional importance of breakfast for children and adolescents

The nutritional importance of breakfast for children and adolescents

The refusal of young children, as well as teenagers, to start their day with a good breakfast is a permanent point of contention in almost every family. This issue should not be neglected as breakfast not only provides the necessary energy required at the start of the day, but it has been found that children who eat a good breakfast are 2-5 times more likely to meet 2/3 of the recommended daily intake intake of most vitamins and minerals required for the proper functioning of the body.

A study conducted at a Louisiana school and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that 19% students who skipped breakfast altogether had significantly lower amounts of various minerals and vitamins compared to their peers who regularly ate breakfast. What is very important for parents to understand is that the nutrients that children and teenagers lose when they skip breakfast are rarely replaced by other meals. It has also been observed that a proper breakfast improves performance at school and ease of attending class. Also, children who eat breakfast are less likely to experience depression, anxiety or hyperactivity. They also think faster and more clearly, feel less tired and sleepy (especially during morning classes), and are less likely to complain of stomach aches or dizziness.

Of particular importance, however, is not only the existence of breakfast as a meal but also its quality. A good breakfast should provide the child with 25-30% of the body's daily needs in energy and nutrients. A balanced breakfast should provide protein, good quality fats, carbohydrates as well as very important nutrients that children often do not get enough of such as fiber, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and calcium.
An excellent choice in children's breakfast can be tahini, which is 100% ground sesame. Tahini is an eminently natural product that contains very good quality proteins (high biological value) necessary for the development of the muscular system of children and adolescents, polyunsaturated fatty acids which contribute to the development of the brain and are related to the best mental development of children and carbohydrates, which provide the necessary energy that will allow them to meet the demands of daily mental and physical activity. At the same time, tahini contains B vitamins that activate the child's mental processes even better and calcium, necessary for the development of the musculoskeletal system. Other products made from sesame, such as sesame paste and tahini halvah, also fall into the same category.
Therefore, it is easy to see how important it is to teach our children before starting the day's activities to eat breakfast at home that includes ingredients such as tahini as well as to avoid eating foods that are poor in nutrients and high in calories. , sugar and saturated fat (e.g. cheese pies, chips, shrimp, etc.) at school or outside of it.
Article by Yannis Chrysos
Clinical Dietitian - Nutritionist
https://www.eumedline.eu