Why is a healthy breakfast important for both moms and growing kids?

Breakfast, literally in the word, it is the meal that helps break our overnight fast during sleeping and helps us kick start our day. For such an important meal, it is crucial that we ensure that our breakfasts are healthy and nutritious. A healthy breakfast is important to provide us with the energy to start our day. It also helps provide us with many important nutrients that we may be deficient in if we skip it. For our little ones, it has been found to be directly related to their school performance and gives them the nutrients their growing brains need. However, it goes beyond that and can influence our and our children’s future risk for cardiovascular disease as it has been related to total cholesterol levels and obesity! Healthy breakfasts have a large impact on our health and ensuring a balance breakfast will give us the best start to our day.

New Mom Project presents the second of the four-part workshop series: Healthy Breakfast, where the importance of healthy breakfast and healthy breakfast ideas were shared with new mothers.  Our goal as an organization is to promote health and well-being to the members of our community, particularly to families in need.  This workshop has helped parents provide quick, affordable and healthy breakfast to their children and themselves through tips and education provided by our guest speaker, Linda Tommasino, who is a professional certified nutritionist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From left: Linda Tommasino (Certified Nutritionist), variety of healthy breakfast options Linda brought to sample.

We were grateful to have Linda Tommasino, certified nutritionist, for an informative and helpful seminar held on November 2, 2017.  She has shared these tips for a healthy and balanced breakfast.

Linda’s Tips for a Healthy Breakfast

Balanced breakfast is important for both moms and kids to start the day:

  • It balances blood sugars for the rest of the day
  • It kick starts our metabolisms (which is good for weight maintenance and loss)
  • It prevents us from being famished at lunch, where we might have the tendency to reach for more refined sugars

A balanced breakfast has a combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber.

  • Carbohydrates: includes grains and fruits and vegetables
    • TIP: Look for items with whole grain (which is not the same as whole wheat!)
      • When reading the label, the first ingredient should be whole grain wheat, not enriched wheat or flour.
    • Some examples: oats, quinoas, barley
  • Proteins: includes dairy, cheese, nuts, seeds, eggs
  • Fats: nuts, seeds, avocado, nut butter
    • TIP: look for nut butters that have roasted nuts as the only ingredient, as the typical nut butters on the shelves have a lot of sugar
  • Fibre: fruits, vegetables, whole foods, oats, flax seeds

Combine as many components as possible for a balanced breakfast!

Some examples include: whole grain wrap with nut butter and fruit.

  • Whole grain toast with avocado
  • Chia seed puddings with fruit and nuts

 

 

 

 

From left: Our moms try Linda’s ideas for healthy breakfast, Linda talks about healthy breakfast with our moms

Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide!

  • Good nutrition is important for all ages, it not only helps you feel your best every day, but helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer.
  • How to eat well with Canada’s Food Guide:
    • Choose foods from the four food groups at each meal
      • ½ plate of fruits/vegetables
      • ¼ plate of grain (for example: brown rice, whole grain pasta)
      • ¼ plate protein-rich foods (ex. Dairy, chicken, fish, beans)
    • Pregnant and Breastfeeding women
      • Require a multivitamin containing folic acid
      • Pregnant women should ensure that their multivitamin also contains iron
      • Please consult your health care professional about what vitamins are appropriate for you.
      • Also require more calories, include an extra 2-3 Food Guide servings each day.
      • For example, having a fruit or yoghurt for snack or an extra slice of toast at breakfast!
    • Children learn from their parents, help be good role models for eating.
      • Children tend to have smaller appetites, so several smaller nutritious meals and snacks are appropriate
      • Offer a variety of foods from all food groups

Testimonials 

“Awesome” – New Mom A.

“The breakfast foods were very tasty” – New Mom K. 

“I learned a lot” – New Mom J.

 

Reference:

Dietitians of Canada. (2017). Planning Meals using Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (p. 1). Retrieved from https://www.dietitians.ca/Downloads/Public/Senior-Friendly-collection.aspx

Health Canada. (2016). Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (pp. 1-2). Ottawa: Publications Health Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/food-guide-aliment/view_eatwell_vue_bienmang-eng.pdf

Nicklas, T., O’Neil, C., & Myers, L. (2004). The Importance of Breakfast Consumption to Nutrition of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. Nutrition Today39(1), 30-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00017285-200401000-00009