Think breakfast. Does this mean cereal, eggs and bacon, yoghurt and banana, last night’s leftovers, a cup of tea – or just nothing?
Breakfast literally means to break the fast after a long night’s sleep. It is a crucial meal that refuels the body and the brain with energy and nutrients. Eating breakfast has been shown to improve mental alertness and physical performance.
During a Kellogg’s media briefing, the following interesting facts were stressed:
- For many young children, there could be as many as 14 hours between supper and breakfast the next morning.
- One in ten children skips breakfast, which can severely limit their ability to learn.
- Children should get one quarter of their daily nutrition at breakfast.
- One in four South African children are chronically undernourished; one in four does not get enough vitamin A; one in five have anaemia; one in ten is not getting enough iron.
- Fortified kids’ breakfast cereals contain almost 50% more vitamin A, B6, folic acid and vitamin C than cooled oats porridge with milk.
- Research shows that children who eat breakfast have healthier weights than children who skip breakfast and also perform better on memory tests.
- One in every twelve South African children is obese.
- The ideal breakfast should be high in carbohydrates, rich in nutrients and low in fat.
- UK data has shown that breakfast cereals are the leading source of iron, a major source of B vitamins, and the provider of 10 percent of fibre in the diets of young people.
- The average home has 4 - 6 cereals in the storage cupboard. Cereals are made from grains, to which are added ingredients such as sugar, chocolate, honey and fruits.
- In the UK, breakfast cereals contribute to 7% of added sugar intake. Topping the list are soft drinks (35%), and confectioneries, biscuits, cakes and pastries (35%) and table sugar (8%).
- More than half of all South African children are getting less than 66% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for some of the nutrients.
(Sources: Kellogg’s, South Africa and SANEP – South African Nutritional Expert Panel)
- (Health24, updated June 2009)