In Nigeria, a considerable percentage of children find it difficult to cope in class owing to failure to eat a healthy breakfast research has shown. This hiccup may impact attention and emotional deficiencies of these children if not tackled. Nelly Agbogu, writes on the strides of private sector initiative to address this.
Breakfast, as its often said, is the most important meal of the day. But, trying to convince your sleepy, grumpy kids who insist “I’m not hungry” to take breakfast most times is a tall order.
Again in the mad dash of school day mornings, making sure everyone is awake, dressed and on the school bus or in the car on time, can be really challenging, especially when you want to provide a balanced breakfast in such situations. We all know that school day mornings are a race against the clock to get out the door and to school on time, and all too often, kids skip breakfast in the rush.
However, research suggests that this habit can lead to a number of negative impacts on the child. But while this wisdom is seemingly timeless, passed down from one generation to the next, does it actually have some truth to it?
There has been a lot of research and studies as to the number of reasons why kids 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 math scores, attention problems, behaviour and emotional deficiencies, low test scores, and less concentration. The reason for this is that our brain requires food for fuel, just as our muscles do. While our muscles can use stored energy from the food we ate yesterday, our brain prefers energy from food we have 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 a child’s overall nutrition by providing her/him with necessary vitamins and minerals, and can actually reduce the risk of obesity!
Each day our body requires a broad range of essential nutrients, needed 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.
Blood sugar balancing is another very important part of eating breakfast. The imbalance of these blood sugar levels are what contribute to brain fog, irritability, and fatigue. When the glucose level in your body is not adequate enough for the brain to use as fuel, we do not concentrate as well or feel as alert as we 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 disease states such as diabetes.
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. Even though mornings can be rushed, set your child up for success by making sure they start the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast.
That said, your healthy breakfast routine cannot be complete without the ‘Mamador Light Fat spread – a Cholesterol and Trans-Fat Free spread, best spread over bread, waffles, pancakes or crackers, and a great option for breakfast meals.
The ‘Mamador Light Fat Spread’ contains Triple Benefits which include its Ease of spread i.e. it glides easily, due to its smooth creamy texture; its great buttery taste; and health benefits as it is cholesterol and trans-fat free, with a 30 percent daily allowance of required vitamins needed to grow and keep you active.
Suffice to say that the nutritional value of the Mamador Light Fat Spread aid a child’s development because it contains the following:
Vitamin A: This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is good for healthy vision, skin, bones and other tissues in the body. They’re essential for many processes in your body, including ensuring the normal the function of the immune system and organs and aiding the proper growth and development of babies in the womb.
Vitamin D: having enough vitamin D is important for a number of reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin E: This has antioxidant effects. Vitamin E plays an important role in the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which are responsible for regulating a variety of body processes, such as blood pressure and muscle contraction. Vitamin E also aids in muscle repair.
B vitamins are an important class of vitamins that help support the red blood cells and the nervous system. It als0 reduces the risks of birth defects.
Vitamin B6 & B12: vitamin B6 helps keeps blood sugar within a normal range, while vitamin B12 protects against anaemia.
Folic acid: Helps the body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Folic acid is used to treat certain types of anaemia (lack of red blood cells) caused by folic acid deficiency.
Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3, is an important nutrient. In fact, every part of your body needs it to function properly. Niacin helps to boost brain function, among other benefits.
It is without a doubt, that the Mamador Light Fat Spread ticks all the boxes of a spread that contributes to a healthy breakfast. From its creamy texture to its yummy taste, to its composition of all the essential vitamins your kids need and should, therefore, be any child’s preferred breakfast option