Many children are not having a balanced meal at breakfast and are choosing food that is high in sugar and fat, or not having anything to eat or drink at all.

Eating foods that are high in sugar and fat can lead to health problems later in life. These health problems include obesity, decayed teeth, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Research shows that 1 in 4 secondary schoolchildren skips breakfast. 12% of secondary schoolchildren admit that they only eat breakfast when they feel like it. This data helps to illustrate why we need to promote and encourage breakfast consumption and get the message across that any food and drink consumed at breakfast time needs to be adequate and sufficient for an active and growing child. 

Consuming a healthy, balanced breakfast supports children in meeting their daily nutritional requirements and their rapid growth demands. It is vital for schools, parents and guardians to promote the important part breakfast plays in a child's daily diet. 

Foods we want children to avoid at breakfast

1.     Chocolate spreads – high in sugar and fat

2.     Crisps – high in fat and salt – insufficient as a breakfast option

3.     Pastries – high in fat and sugar – insufficient as a breakfast option

4.     Fizzy drinks – high in sugar – no nutritional value

5.     Energy drinks – high in sugar – no nutritional value

6.     Cereal bars/breakfast biscuits - often high in sugar and insufficient as a breakfast option

7.     Sugary breakfast cereals – over 15g of added sugar per 100g of cereal is classified as high sugar

8.     Left over take away dinner – high in fat and salt and processed food with low nutritional value.

Remember that planning a healthy breakfast well in advance will ensure that a child's first meal of the day is quick and easy to prepare, is nutritious, and is able to support their growth and development.