The increasing cases of physical and mental health issues in the young population are alarming and quite worrying for parents across the globe. Modern lifestyle, new social norms, environment changes - many factors come into play to bring about such health issues in children and adolescents. One of them which needs to be highlighted is - food. Yes, our diet plays a very important role in dictating our overall well-being and it holds true for the young ones as well. The most ironic fact about today's diet is that despite knowing how breakfast is important for us, most of us tend to skip it, and this gnawing habit of skipping breakfast is impacting the physical and mental well-being of kids and teenagers negatively.
A recent study, published in 'Frontiers In Nutrition', revealed that children and teenagers who skip their breakfast regularly were at the risk of developing psychosocial behavioural problems and low energy level.
Also read: Try These Amazing Tricks To Teach Kids To Eat In Moderation
This study analysed data from the Spanish National Health Survey (2017) that involved 3,772 Spanish children and adolescents, aged 4-14 years, residing in Spain. The researchers collected data on breakfast habits along with the consideration of the place of eating - at home and outside of the home. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) were answered by parents/guardians and were measured with 5 subscales:
1. Emotional problems
2. Conduct problems
4. Peer problems
5. Prosocial behaviour
It was discovered that kids and teens who did not have breakfast often or ate breakfast out of the home had higher SDQ scores and a higher likelihood of psychosocial problems. Along with the test results, the researchers also offered some diet tips to help inculcate healthy breakfast eating habits in children.
(Also Read: 10 Healthy Foods for Kids)
Healthy Breakfast Tips For Children And Adolescents:
1. Dairy Products - one glass of milk, one serving of fresh yogurt or cheese
2. Healthy Carbs Foods: Cereals, bread, cookies, whole wheat bread, homemade pastries
3. Fruit or Natural Juice - with more focus on whole fruits rather than juices.
3. High-Fiber Foods - whole grains, low-sugar cereals and bread, fruit, nuts, and seeds
4. Protein-Rich Foods: protein foods, such as eggs, ham, nuts etc.
5. Meals high in tryptophan - dairy, oats, nuts and seeds
6. High-fat foods should be avoided - donuts, muffins, sugary cereals
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