While walking through the school cafeteria today, I stopped to chat with a second grader. Playfully, I pretended to take away her fruit bowl.
“You can have it… I don’t like fruit,” she gladly told me.
I wondered what conversations about food she has at home with her parents.
In all my health and wellness classes, the most commonly repeated phrase was, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Another adage is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
Have you heard these two sayings? They seem to pop up everywhere food is discussed.
But when I talk to children I hear things like, “I don’t eat breakfast,” or “I can’t eat early in the morning.”
In fact, my daughter made the second statement every morning up until she graduated from middle school.
What did I do?
Pretended I didn’t hear her.
Placed her breakfast on the table, called her, and let her know I expected her to eat it.
At other times, we had discussions about the importance of eating breakfast… putting the right fuel in the brain so it could do its best work… variations of preparation and food choices that yield similar nutrients…
Now that she is in high school, there is no longer the need for those kinds of conversations. She does her own research, makes wise food choices not only for her breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner, and informs me of her decisions.
She does have her “cheat days” on Saturdays when she eats her favorite not-so-healthy snacks.
Last week, she informed me that she had decided to become vegan for 1 month. Gave me a shopping list. And has stuck to her plan so far.
According to the Journal of Current Nutrition and Food Science,
“Over the past five years, significant new evidence has documented the link
between eating breakfast and learning. Recent studies show that skipping breakfast is
relatively common among children in the U.S. and other industrialized nations and is
associated with quantifiable negative consequences for academic, cognitive, health, and
mental health functioning.”
What conversations do you have with your children or family about breakfast?