National School Breakfast Week, happening March 5-9, celebrates a popular program that provides healthy breakfasts for kids at their school. According to the Food Research and Action Center, over 12 million students participate in the program nationwide and, they report, studies show benefits to kids’ learning and behavior from participating in this nutritious breakfast program.
Another benefit of starting kids’ (and adults') days with breakfast is that many of America's favorite breakfast foods can provide a health and nutrition boost, and include some important cancer-protective foods lacking in Americans’ diets.
These nutrient-packed, fiber-rich foods can play a central role at breakfast. Whole grain cereals, both hot and cold, are quick and easy – either ready to eat, prepared the night before, or a five-minute prep in the morning. AICR research found that whole grain foods like oatmeal and whole grain bread help lower risk for colorectal cancer. Studies also link whole grains to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Try these easy, delicious recipes:
According to the USDA, American children aren’t meeting recommendations for fruit. Kids need from 1 to 2 cups of fruit daily, so just a half banana or a handful of berries can be an important contribution. Fruits contain potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate – a package of nutrition that can help lower risk for chronic diseases and cancer. Fruit is delicious as is, but here are a couple of colorful recipes to boost your child’s nutrition
The calcium and potassium found in dairy and some fortified plant-based milks link to healthy bones and lower blood pressure. Dairy and soy milk products contain protein, but many other plant-based beverages lack the protein boost. Serve your kids milk or yogurt as is or try these easy, delicious recipes:
Developing healthy habits early on can help set taste preferences later in life, so when kids grow to be adults they are more likely to include tasty fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other plant foods in their diet. Helping kids to a healthy breakfast, whether at home or school, is a great start to helping future adults lower risk for having obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some types of cancer. Check out these kid friendly resources to help your child get a head start on overall health and adult cancer prevention and see more ideas for quick and easy breakfasts.