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Eating a nutritious and healthy breakfast is not only good for adults but is especially so for children and teenagers. According to the American Dietetic Association, a good breakfast results in better performance for children in the classroom and also in the playground. It improves concentration, eye-hand skill and also problem-solving skills.
But do we know what a good and health-beneficial breakfast should consist of?
The daily recommended amount of fiber intake should be 15-25 gms per 1000 calories. So ensure that you get enough of it during your breakfast to achieve your goal by the end of the day. Aim for minimum 5 gms of fiber which can easily be done with a large raw apple, half-cup of high-fiber cereal, two slices of whole-grain rye bread or half-cup blackberries. Fiber is filling without adding calories.
Cereals are also high in fiber and a bowl of cold cereal is sufficient to give you the required fiber and also calcium but less amount of fat. A breakfast of oats is another way to add beta-glucan, a fiber which helps to lower cholesterol when consumed regularly. Not only fiber, but oats is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium and folate.
A small portion of lean protein included in your breakfast will help you keep off hunger pangs and food cravings till your next meal. According to Wayne Campbell, PhD, a Researcher at Purdue University, protein is the food which blunts hunger the most and is also the most satiating. Get your protein by adding the traditional egg to your breakfast which has the highest amount of quality protein. It is filling and helps you to consume fewer calories throughout the day.
Oatmeal, which is a slow-releasing carbohydrate, helps to keep the blood sugar level in between meals stable. it also helps to keep us more satiated and thus helps to control weight and also prevent chronic ailments. Other slow releasing carbohydrate foods include all non-starchy vegetables, like kale, tomatoes, cucumber and onions to name a few, fresh fruits like melons, apples, plums and cherries, sweet potatoes and nuts and nut butter such as walnuts, macadamia nuts and almond butter.
Milk is the most common breakfast drink for children. Stick to either skim milk or soy milk fortified with calcium which keeps your breakfast low-fat and low-calorie. A glass of fortified skim milk contains 8 gms protein, 0.2 gms fat, 30 percent of recommended daily calcium intake and 80 calories. With soy milk, your child gets 7 gms protein, 4 gms fat, 28 percent of calcium intake and 95 calories. For your child who is fussy about plain milk, get the delicious but healthy chocolate soy milk.
Drinking coffee or tea, which has caffeine, gives a boost to your energy to start off the day. If you are not a coffee-person go for tea which is loaded with health benefits. It contains the immunity-boosting antioxidants known as catechins. Black, green or white – all varieties of tea contain antioxidants but green tea is the best source of this essential compound. Tea contains less caffeine than coffee and hence, can hydrate you more. Drink at least 5 cups of unsweetened tea a day to boost your metabolism and also lose weight around your middle.
Add juices of fresh fruits to your breakfast for its health benefits. A glass of orange juice contains 0.4 gms fat, 1 gm fiber, 125 percent of the recommended daily calorie intake and 120 calories.
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