By Ebele Orakpo
Breakfast has been described as the most important meal of the day, unfortunately, many children skip breakfast in their bid to get to school early.
Harping on the importance of healthy breakfast, Nelly Agbogu of NELLIES Healthy Food and Snacks Company, said a regular healthy breakfast lifestyle for children would benefit them in the long-run.
According to Agbogu, research has shown that the habit of skipping breakfast could lead to a number of negative impacts on the child.
“There has been a lot of research and studies as to the reasons why children shouldn’t skip breakfast and most of these studies have concluded that children who do not eat breakfast are less able to learn.
“Hunger can lead to lower scores, attention problems, behaviour and emotional deficiencies, and less concentration. The reason is that the brain requires food for fuel, just as the muscles. While the muscles can use stored energy from the food we ate the previous day, the brain prefers energy from food eaten recently. It is these issues that have led many schools to participate in school breakfast programmes.
“Beyond academics, children who eat breakfast show decreased anxiety, depression and hyperactivity. Breakfast can improve children’s overall nutrition by providing them with necessary vitamins and minerals, and can actually reduce the risk of obesity.
“The body requires a broad range of essential nutrients for growth, brain development, immunity and overall good health. Children who eat regular meals, including breakfast are more likely to meet these daily nutritional requirements.”
She added that eating breakfast helps in balancing the blood sugar.
“If the blood sugar level is not balanced, it could lead to brain fog, irritability and fatigue. When the glucose level in your body is not enough for the brain to use as fuel, you will not concentrate as well or feel as alert as you would like. Eating breakfast ensures that blood sugar levels return to normal after a long time without eating while you were asleep. Keeping blood sugars balanced not only helps with sustained energy and focus, but also helps with healthy weight control and prevention of diseases such as diabetes.”
On the nutritional value of Mamador Light Fat Spread, she said it contains Vitamins A, D,E, B6, B12, B3 and Folic acid which are essential for many processes in the body, including ensuring the normal function of the immune system and organs for proper growth and development.
“The bottom line is that breakfast breaks the fast, waking up our bodies and brains to let them know it’s time to get going.”
She advised parents to set their children up for success by making sure they start the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast.