Ideal breakfasts for children, what to give, why it is important and some ideas

Ideal breakfasts for children, what to give, why it is important and some ideas
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Breakfast is known to be one of the most important meals of the day. It is essential that children eat the right calories in the morning to be able to face the day in the best possible way and at the same time have a healthy and nutritious breakfast. We have collected in this article all the most important things to know about breakfast.

Breakfasts, what to give to children

The morning is a difficult time for many families: you need to wash, get dressed, have breakfast and then ... face the day. And especially in this period, you absolutely must not sacrifice breakfast.

Many studies have shown that the morning meal has a positive effect on academic achievement and which prevents the risk of obesity. In the morning, the body has recovered from an overnight fast of almost 12 hours, the energy reserves are exhausted and it is important for the child to replenish calories to face the day.

The nutritionist Alice Canceled of the Pediatric Hospital of our city, interviewed by, stated: «This first meal should provide approximately 15% 20% of the daily calories (approximately 270-360 for a 6-10 year old child). And to be balanced it must contain a mix of nutrients: complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates and proteins". In particular:

  1. Complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates can be provided by different foods: bread, durum or whole wheat (while the boxed one should be avoided); cereals, but paying attention to the label: sugar should not be the main ingredient, and preferably choose whole grains; biscuits and rusks, better wholemeal: even here it is important to read the label to check that they contain good oils, such as corn, sunflower or extra virgin olive oil and better if cold extracted.
  2. Simple carbohydrates: fresh fruit, preferably seasonal and organic because it contains more antioxidants (pesticides, in addition to not being good for health, block the natural development of antioxidants); dried fruit (but without added sugars); honey, preferably dark honeydew or chestnut honey, rich in mineral salts; And fruit compotes, with at least 70% fruit.
  3. Protein. The protein part can be given by: whole milk high quality; whole white yogurt, to be preferred to the one with fruit; dried fruit; soy milk or yogurt. For children who prefer salty, you can offer: fresh cheese, an egg or even legumes (perhaps in cream).

For further information: Breakfasts, what to give to children

Breakfast: why it matters

Breakfast is really essential for children. In addition to providing a good number of calories to get you through the day, numerous studies have also shown it to offer protection from diabetes.

A recent survey, conducted by researchers from St. George's University in London and published in the San Francisco-based weekly medical journal PLoS Medicine, confirmed that children who skip it are more at risk of suffering from dietary diabetes and being in overweight or obese as adults.

The results of the aforementioned study showed that among the children who skipped breakfast most days (26%) there was a higher diabetes risk compared to the other. Notably, they had higher fasting insulin levels and higher insulin resistance levels (which can lead to diabetes).

In addition, among the children who ate breakfast, those who ate high-fiber cereals had lower levels of insulin resistance than those who preferred biscuits. Consumption of fiber could therefore protect against the risk of early development of type 2 diabetes.

For further information: Breakfast protects against diabetes

Healthy and quick breakfasts (recipes)

There are many mothers who ask themselves the problem of the ideal breakfast for children, designed to reconcile the needs of rapidity typical of modern rhythms and those of a healthy and complete nutritional intake.

To find out what ideal breakfasts should be like, we asked the experts for some suggestions professor Marcello Giovannini (San Paolo Hospital of our city), president of the Del Paesena Society of pediatric nutrition (Sinupe), in Gianfranco Trapani, pediatrician expert in child nutrition and dietology ea Giovanna Weber, Professor of Pediatrics at the Vita Salute University of San Raffaele in our city. The following emerged breakfast healthy and nutritious:

  1. "150 ml of milk or yogurt, partially skimmed (after three years it's okay too, you can do without the fat part), dry biscuits (50 g), orange juice (100 ml)". By Prof. Marcello Giovannini.
  2. "220 ml of milk or semi-skimmed yogurt, cereal snack (30 g), apple (200 g)". By Prof. Marcello Giovannini.
  3. "Small wholemeal sandwiches with ham or omelettes prepared the night before, bancha tea (a special naturally decaffeinated tea, also suitable for three-year-olds), and a seasonal fruit". Of Dr. Gianfranco Trapani.
  4. «Pudding prepared the night before (organic creme caramel), plus a couple of slices of bread and jam and a seasonal fruit, accompanied by bancha tea». Of Dr. Gianfranco Trapani.
  5. «A cup of white semi-skimmed milk with corn flakes or muesli. Or a whole yogurt and a granola bar ». By Prof. Giovanni Weber.
  6. «A cup of decaffeinated tea with dry biscuits and a seasonal fruit or a seasonal fruit smoothie». By Prof. Giovanni Weber.

CONTINUE READING: Healthy and quick breakfasts before going to school

Breakfasts for inappetent or selective children

What if the baby doesn't want to eat? "Often it happens because he went to bed late the night before and can't wake up in time to have a quiet breakfast," she said. Giuseppe Morino, head of the food education service of the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in the city, interviewed by

«It's normal: if as soon as you get up you have to run straight away to get ready and go out, while you are still half asleep, you certainly don't want to eat. In these cases we must try to anticipate the time to go to sleepand".

It is important for parents to lead by example: “If mum and dad drink a cup of coffee on the go, clearly they don't make you want to eat. They too should have breakfast, sitting with their child around a set table "

Finally, in the early days, to create the habit, the preferences of the child can be favored, even if it is a brioche that is too high in calories. The important thing is, therefore, that you get used to it, then you will work on quality.

Morino recommends, for breakfast, a Mediterranean type meal, with a part liquid (150 ml of milk, even with a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa or barley coffee, or 125 grams of white yogurt without sugar) and a solid. For the latter, a slice of bread (30-40 grams) or 2/3 wholemeal rusks with jam without added sugar, honey or hazelnut spread are good. Alternatively 3/4 biscuits, 25-30 grams of cereals or a slice of homemade cake prepared with oil instead of butter, wholemeal flour, dried fruit and a little sugar. To all this we can add a fresh fruit, maybe in pieces in yogurt.

CONTINUE READING: Breakfast, why to make it, how to make it and how to convince children that they don't want it

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Baby breakfasts after one year of life

According to the indications on the feeding of the child of Esfa, the European food safety authority, it can be the parents who choose, according to their beliefs, habits, traditions, which foods and what type of milk to offer to the child who has just one year old. asked for advice from Stefano Martelossi, Head of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition in Trieste, how to behave when it comes to breakfast.

The expert stated that "if the mother is still breastfeeding, she will understand if breast milk is enough or whether to offer something else, both by evaluating whether the baby is still hungry, and by taking into account the fact that the baby must be educated to do breakfast, that is, to introduce a solid food in addition to milk. After the portion of mother's milk, a fruit could therefore be fine ».

«If the baby is no longer breastfed for breakfast, he can eat some rusks (or bread) with jam or some biscuits and / or fruit. Once again the mother has to rely on her instincts, trusting the baby at the same time, that is, what and how much he wants to eat. Obviously, it is only valid if he is offered a range of simple and healthy foods, such as fruit, bread, yogurt ».

For further information: Feeding the baby after one year, how and what he should eat

Breakfasts, weekly menus from 1 to 3 years

Here is a series of breakfasts for children aged 1 to 3, from Monday to Sunday. These are simple and tasty meals, perfect for a healthy and balanced diet.

  1. Monday breakfast: 100 ml of whole milk; 30 g of biscuits.

  2. Tuesday breakfast: 100 g of whole yogurt (white or fruit); 20 g of rusks + 10 g of jam (with reduced sugar content).
  3. Wednesday breakfast: 100 ml of whole milk; 30 g of breakfast cereals.
  4. Thursday breakfast: 100 g of whole yogurt (white or fruit); 30 g of breakfast cereals.
  5. Friday breakfast: 100 ml of whole milk; 30 g of biscuits.
  6. Saturday breakfast: 100 g of whole yogurt (white or fruit); 30 g of biscuits.
  7. Sunday breakfast: 100 ml of whole milk; 30 g of biscuits.

CONTINUE READING: Weekly menu for children from one to three years

Breakfasts without cooking

Are you looking for breakfasts without cooking that to offer the children something different from the usual, but which does not involve turning on the oven?

Here three recipes to breakfasts and snacks without cooking that will stimulate the imagination and appetite of even the most inappetent children.

1. Carrot truffles without cooking.

Greedy candy based on ... carrots! They are perfect to be prepared in advance and then kept ready for emergencies. Here are the ingredients:

  • 3-4 carrots;
  • 100 gr of mixed dried fruit (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds…);
  • 7 pitted dried apricots;
  • 60 gr of rapé coconut;
  • 1/2 tablespoons of water (if necessary);
  • Cinnamon to taste (or vanilla, cocoa, cardamom ...);
  • Rapè coconut for the topping (or sesame seeds, cocoa, almond flour, grated chocolate, etc.).

After having washed, peeled and cut the carrots into large pieces, put them in a mixer or in a food processor with dried fruit, dried apricots and coconut. Blend everything until you get a homogeneous and workable mixture. Transfer the dough to a bowl and place the grated coconut on a flat saucer. Take a small portion of the dough, form a ball by rolling it in your hands and then pass the ball into the coconut. Proceed in this way until the dough is used up.

2. Strong tower recipe.

Fruit towers can be created using almond cream and cocoa. Why not get yourself help from the children to build these towers, making breakfast extremely playful? Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 banana;
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of almond butter (this is a spread obtained only from long-blended almonds and can be found in the most well-stocked organic shops and supermarkets);
  • ½ teaspoon of cocoa;
  • ¼ teaspoon of agave syrup (which can also be replaced with simple liquid honey).

For the strong banana tower, prepare a cream by mixing the almond butter with the cocoa and the agave syrup. Cut the banana into slices and spread a little cream on each slice. Stack the slices.

3. Raw fruit tartlets.

It is raw sweets, food philosophy that provides that foods are not cooked. Here are the ingredients for the cream:

  • 120 ml of water;
  • 100 g of pitted dates.

And here are the ingredients for the tartlets:

  • 200 g of almonds previously soaked and drained from the water;
  • 100 g of pitted dates;
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla powder;
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest;
  • 1 pinch of whole sea salt.

Blend the cream and set it aside. Also blend the ingredients to prepare the tartlets and, with the help of a pastry cutter, form discs of about 8-9 cm in diameter and others about a centimeter. Spread the date cream evenly on the tartlets and then stuff with your favorite fresh fruit.

For further information: Breakfasts and snacks without cooking



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