A. According to our own breakfast poll, only about 60 percent of kids eat breakfast each day, and that is unfortunate, because according to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a good breakfast:
- 'meet their daily nutritional needs, keep their weight under control, have lower blood cholesterol levels, attend school more frequently, and make fewer trips to the school nurses office complaining of tummy aches'
- 'are more likely than children who skip breakfast to consume foods with adequate levels of minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins, such as riboflavin, vitamins A, C, and B12, and folate'
- likely have a better chance of getting an appropriate amount of calories each day, since kids 'who skip breakfast do not make up for the missed calories at other meals'
Is ten minutes enough time to eat dry cereal, toast and fruit? I don't think that there are any formal guidelines about how long it should take kids to eat each meal, but ten minutes doesn't sound like enough time. Still, if the option is between giving them ten minutes or not giving them breakfast at all, then encourage them to eat quick and don't allow any dilly-dallying around.
Most importantly, if they 'seem to be fine,' then they probably are. You should probably take another look at the issue and try to get them a few more minutes if you do notice more tummy aches later in the morning from the kids who eat a quick breakfast at school.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service offers some alternatives that might work for you including a:
- Traditional Breakfast
- Breakfast in the Classroom
- Grab 'n Go Breakfast
- Breakfast After 1st Period
- Breakfast on the Bus
By the way, do they get any orange juice or milk with breakfast? Only getting dry cereal and toast without something to wash it down might upset anyone's stomach...