Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I’m a firm believer, having seen the effects having no breakfast has on my students. But I also see the effects of different types of breakfasts too. Not being an expert on the subject, I was delighted to find this post which helped me understand more about how powerful food is in terms of fueling our bodies the right way.
The Following is taken from ADDitude, an online magazine/blog for people with ADD and ADHD
Research suggests that a good breakfast helps a child do better in school. A 1998 study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, showed that children who ate breakfast regularly had higher reading and math scores, lower levels ofdepression, anxiety, and hyperactivity, better school attendance, improved attention spans, and fewer behavior problems.
For children with ADHD, the menu matters, too. In a 1983 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, researchers at George Washington University tested three breakfast types (high-carbohydrate, high-protein, and no breakfast at all) on 39 children with ADHD and 44 kids without the condition.
For the hyperactive children, performance on several tests, including a test for attention, was significantly worse with the high-carbohydrate breakfast, as compared with the scores of the children who ate the high-protein breakfast.
Maryanne discussed Steve’s breakfast problems with her doctor, and they developed some strategies. He suggested that Maryanne and Steve get up 15 minutes earlier, to give her more time to prepare breakfast, and advised that Steve take his medication with his meal rather than just after waking up, to delay the appetite suppression.
Finally, they discussed how to get more high-protein foods into her son’s diet. Their list included lean meats and poultry, eggs, unprocessed nuts and seeds, and low-fat milk or milk products, as well as complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain cereals and bread and fresh fruits.
Here are some easy breakfasts that Maryanne put on Steve’s menu. Most can be eaten in the car on the way to school.
- Natural peanut butter on whole-grain bread, with a dab of all-fruit jam.
- Eggs; glass of orange juice. To save time, make hard-boiled or deviled eggs the night before.
- Slice of whole-grain bread with a little whipped butter or margarine and a dab of all-fruit jam; low-fat milk.
- Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk; lean meat from last night’s dinner (pork chop, chicken); orange sections.
- Plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
- Grilled-cheese sandwich made with whole-grain bread and two-percent cheese; glass of orange juice.
- Homemade instant breakfast shake or sausage patties (see recipes, left sidebar).
- Mixed nuts; fruit; glass of low-fat milk.
I do not have children with ADHD. Yet I do try to provide protein as much as possible. The school mornings are difficult as we already get up at 5:30 in order to commute to school on time. Cereal is easy and the kids can get it themselves. Thankfully there are healthier cereal choices that let me feel a little less guilty as I count all the good things the kids are getting through the milk and grains with some fruit added, when I remind the kids to do so. (They don’t leap to include fruit by choice at breakfast, but thankfully eat plenty of it through the day.)
Weekends are much more relaxed and this working mom can enjoy a family breakfast packed with protein and a sense of smugness! Today we enjoyed eggs. My kids love eggs, but are fussy about how they are presented. Scrambled is the choice du jour and I got ‘cracking’ on a fun favorite. (Pun intended – sorry folks.)
My eggs: Please note, I don’t measure anything so I can’t give you specifics.
6 Organic eggs
Organic 2% milk
Organic ham (Nature’s Promise from Stop and Shop)
Organic kale or baby spinach (just a little kale as the kids hate it, but I can get away with more spinach)
Whole wheat toast with butter
I pre-chopped the ham, onions and kale or baby spinach. I often steam the kale/spinach a little before hand so my kids don’t go all “icky on me”. Cooking eggs is one of the few times I use my non-stick pan. I add a little coconut oil to the pan. I beat the eggs and milk together, add to the pan and cook on low, stirring carefully and evenly. Adding all the chopped ingredients before the eggs ‘scramble’ helps them integrate into the mix better. Serve with whole wheat toast and butter.
Hubby also cooks eggs and he has his own version…variety is the spice of life. We then sit down together to eat, serving orange juice or water and my much needed coffee. The whole breakfast takes about ten minutes to make, is delicious, and nutritious and brings us together for some quality family time. Perfect!