Youngsters are putting themselves at a risk of malnutrition by skipping breakfast. Children do not get time to eat breakfast before going to school. Some children think it is too early to eat. But your children will be at a higher riskof malnutrition by skipping breakfast.
Eating a healthy breakfast can improve the behaviour of your child and provides adequate energy that they need for the day. Youngsters are putting themselves at a risk of malnutrition by skipping breakfast. Children do not get time to eat breakfast before going to school. Some children think it is too early to eat. The King’s College London study found that children who skip breakfast regularly may not be consuming the daily amounts of essential nutrients for growth and development that are recommended by the UK government.
A study by King’s College London, found that 14 per cent of the boys and 19 per cent of girls never eat breakfast, while around 50 per cent of both sexes skipped the meal at least once every few days.
Children who ate breakfast every day had overall superior nutritional profiles compared to those who did not eat their breakfast. While the study was unable to identify a causal link, these children were found to have higher daily intakes of essential nutrients such as folate (important for the development of genetic material), calcium, iron and iodine (beneficial in the development of thyroid function) than children who skipped breakfast.
31.5 percent of those who skipped breakfast did not even meet the lower recommended nutrient intake (LRNI) of iron compared to only 4.4 percent of breakfast consuming children. While one out of five were calcium and iodine deficient.
The research was based on surveys of more than 1,600 young people who were asked to keep a food diary for 4 days and then their nutrition levels were monitored. Breakfast was considered as consumption of over 100 calories between 6 and 9am.
19 percent did not meet LRNI for calcium, compared to 2.9 percent of breakfast consuming children, while 21.5 percent did not meet lower levels for iodine, compared to 3.3 percent of breakfast consuming children.
Children who consumed breakfast daily did not have have folate intake below their LRNI as compared to 7.3 percent of those who skipped breakfast.
The study compared breakfast habits and nutrients within individual participants. Study showed that, in younger children (4-10 years old), on days when breakfast was consumed, children had higher intakes of folate, calcium, vitamin C and iodine compared to their breakfast-skipping days. Out of these nutrients, for older children (11-18 years old) only calcium intakes were higher on breakfast-consuming days.
Senior author Gerda Pot said that this study provided evidence that parents should ensure their children are eating breakfast everyday and getting the sufficient nutrition they need.
“Further studies that investigate specific foods and dietary quality would help to identify if the differences are due to the different types of breakfast being eaten by different age groups, as well as provide more insight into the impact of breakfast on dietary quality overall.”
The study also showed that only 6.5 per cent of 4 – 10 year olds missed breakfast every day, compared with nearly 27 per cent of 11- 18 year olds.
Data also suggested that girls were more likely to miss breakfast than boys and household income was found to be higher in the families of children eating breakfast every day.