Breakfast means to ‘break the fast’ from the night before, which can be up to 16 hours for children. It is important that everyone has a healthy breakfast to help them prepare for the day ahead, children and adults alike. Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, yet up to one-third of us regularly miss this essential meal.

Apart from providing fuel for our brain and body, breakfast foods are good sources of fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and iron. The body needs these essential nutrients, but people who skip breakfast are less likely to meet their daily requirements for them.

Research suggests that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight compared to those that skip breakfast. If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to reach for high sugar and fatty snacks mid-morning.

According to the NHS, eating breakfast has long term health benefits; it can help reduce obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, breakfast improves the concentration, mood and memory of children and helps them to keep their attention focused on lessons and other activities throughout the morning.

So what makes for a healthy breakfast?

Breakfast should provide about 20-25% of your daily nutritional requirements. Remember to include all of the four main food groups: starchy foods; fruit and vegetables; milk and dairy foods; meat, fish, eggs and non-dairy sources of protein. Avoid food and drink that is high in fat (e.g. croissants and pastries) and sugar as it is often low in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

Remember to include a drink; being well hydrated helps you to concentrate. Try to plan ahead to ensure you make a healthy choice. If you are in a hurry try grabbing something easy like a banana, yoghurt or a glass of 100% fruit juice (which should be diluted 50/50 with water for a child).

Harriet Green is Magic Breakfast's Nutrition Manager.