My teenage daughter is skipping breakfast at the moment. What are the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast?

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My teenage daughter is skipping breakfast at the moment. What are the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast?

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Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but is especially so for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.

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Many studies, in both adults and children, have shown that breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than breakfast skippers.

Why? One theory suggests that eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day, and help people make better food choices at other meals. While it might seem you could save calories by skipping breakfast, this is not an effective strategy. Typically, hunger gets the best of breakfast-skippers, and they eat more at lunch and throughout the day.

Another theory behind the breakfast-weight control link implies that eating breakfast is part of a healthy lifestyle that includes making wise food choices and balancing calories with exercise. For example, consider the successful losers followed by the National Weight Control Registry, all of whom have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off at least one year. Some 80% of the people in the Registry regularly eat breakfast (and also follow a calorie-controlled, low-fat diet).

It’s worth noting that most studies linking breakfast to weight control loss looked at a healthy breakfast containing protein and/or whole grains — not meals loaded with fat and calories.

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it is a long time since the body was last refuelled. A nutritious and sustaining breakfast will supply her with the energy she needs to get the day off to the right start. A breakfast that is high in carbohydrate will supply energy for muscles and the brain. A healthy nutritious breakfast prevents you from binge eating on unhealthy snacks throughout the day and can contribute to healthy eating. Carbohydrate foods that are good breakfast choices include bread, cereal, fruit, milk and yogurt. Wholegrain breads and cereals are the best option for breakfast, as they contain carbohydrates, essential nutrients and dietary fibre, which is important for inner balance. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with vitamins and minerals to help boost daily nutrition. If time in the mornings is limited, try quick options like reduced fat-yogurt like , wholegrain toast or a piece of fruit.

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