“Over two-thirds of South Africans believe that children getting ready for school gets in the way of eating breakfast. Almost one-quarter of children who do eat breakfast are distracted by TV, iPads or mobile phones,” a national survey conducted by the Kellogg’s Breakfast for Better Days Initiative found.
“Distractions from technology during breakfast are problematic as they result in mindless eating, or worse, no eating at all,” says dietician Kelly Francis. “Children require as much guidance with their eating behaviour as they do with any other behaviour. I strongly encourage an ‘unplugged’ family breakfast to promote the development of healthy eating habits before setting out for the day,” says Kelly.
5 tips to get breakfast on the table, and your family around the table:
- Do some of your morning chores the night before like putting out your clothes for the next day, signing permission slips and putting homework in backpacks.
- Set the table with breakfast dishes and non-perishable food items such as dry cereal, low GI bread and bagels before going to bed.
- Children are always keen to learn. Involve them in the morning routine and let them help you make breakfast on weekends. Teach them how to make their favourite breakfast.
- Make sure you have interesting placemats, cutlery and bowls for children. This makes breakfast more exciting.
- Make sure all family members are assigned chores to do in the morning. Plan to share the breakfast preparation – even young children can help in some way.
- Don’t turn on the television in the morning.
- Vary your breakfast options to prevent boredom. “Cereal may be one of the quickest and versatile meals for the morning time rush, but always choose cereals that are fortified with vitamins and minerals, not loaded with sugar,” says dietician Megan Pentz-Kluyts.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.