Children's breakfast: 10 data to improve it

Breakfast is key for children to enjoy adequate food and, as pointed out by the Spanish Foundation of Dietitians-Nutritionists (FEDN), the family is a determining factor in the habit of having breakfast daily and in the foods they eat. Therefore, letting children eat breakfast alone is a mistake, and yet having breakfast with parents means that children eat breakfast in a healthier way.

40% of children eat breakfast alone

According to the data of the first study presented by Tulipán, in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation of Dieticians-Nutritionists (FEDN) and the Spanish Society of Social Pediatrics (SEPS), about eating habits in the breakfast of Spanish children 40% of Spanish children do not eat breakfast regularly with family members.

A healthy diet must contain good fats, which are essential for the proper functioning and development of our body.

"Today there is still the popular belief that all fats are bad, a statement that is not true, in fact, our body needs fats and it is our duty to select those that should include our children's breakfast," says Jesus Garcia of SEPS. Some of the good fats are:

- Olive oil
- Nuts
- Vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil
- Margarines

Breakfast in figures

- Family breakfast improves the quality of it. 40% of Spanish children eat breakfast alone.

- Avoid skipping breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 8% of children over 6 do not eat breakfast daily, which could negatively affect their development.

- Healthy food at breakfast. 12% of the population has been forced to change the breakfast habits of their children since the beginning of the economic crisis. Of these, 39% say that since the beginning of the crisis consume more homemade pastries, compared to the processed (13%).

- The crisis has affected family breakfast a little. Only 3'5% of the parents surveyed admit that they have been forced to do without breakfast for financial reasons.

- Avoid industrial pastries at breakfast. 32.6% acknowledge giving their children a piece of pastries every day, being 65% of this industrial bakery.

- Make breakfast healthy. 2 out of 10 parents give more importance to making breakfast simple, tasty or fun to be healthy.

- Fruit, dairy and cereals: a good breakfast. Only 11% of parents surveyed say they give fruit to their children at breakfast, despite the fact that 56% consider fruit the third most important element after dairy products and cereals.

- Moderates the intake of fats at breakfast. 48% of parents with children over 4 years of age believe that it is not healthy for breakfast to contain fat. Of those who consider that it is, 73% prefer margarine, compared to 27% who choose olive oil.

- Variety feeding. A healthy and balanced breakfast is essential for weight control. Only 10% of parents consider that their child does not maintain a varied and balanced diet, and even 13% know that their children have a higher weight than recommended. This figure rises to 18% in the case of children over 6 years.

"Based on the available evidence, it is prudent to strengthen the habit of having breakfast as it could be key to children's growth and food education, therefore, parents should pay special attention to this moment. company of a relative and take advantage of this moment to incorporate foods with a good nutritional quality such as fruits, foods based on whole grains, low-fat dairy products or foods that provide healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts or margarines " , affirms Giuseppe Russolillo, of FEDN.

Sara Pérez

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