BREAKFAST – THE NEGLECTED MEAL
Breakfast is particularly important for a school going child. It is the first meal a child takes after a virtual fast of 6-8 hours andprepares himself for problem solving and better memory spans in the learning period at school.
With the need to adjust to the school time, the first meal is either scanty or omitted entirely. This practice is hazardous from nutritional point of view. The child’s ability to attend classes and learn his lessons at school may be affected, if he is hungry during school hour, due to a missed breakfast. So, try to maintain a regular routine for the child so that he takes his breakfast properly.
Breakfast can be a very enjoyable and varied meal. A good breakfast should include some cereal or cereal -legume preparation, milk and fruit. However, if the fruit is preferred at some other time in the day, it may be omitted from the breakfast.
Tips for planning menus for school going children :
- Daily meals should meet your child’s increasing nutritional needs due to activity, growth and special requirements (as in sickness or injury).
- By nature children are restless and do not like/have much time at the table for eating. In the morning, they are rushed so as not to miss the school bus. You have to plan dishes that are quick to eat and nutritious.
- Children also tend to be bored with foods easily. So menus need to provide variety in color, texture, taste and flavor.
- You must also keep in mind the climatic conditions. During summer extra liquids and salts are to be given to replenish extra loss in sweat.
- Children have varying appetites and often prefer snacks at frequent intervals to a few large ones. Keep thinking of newer, nutritious snacks for your child.
- A child should be encouraged to eat with the rest of the family when he is ready to take the family meals. Such interactions between family members are a part of normal development.
- If your child does not like green vegetables, they can be incorporated, in sandwiches, chapattis etc.