One of my aims as a parent is to help Freddie have healthy habits for the future, so eating breakfast seems a good place to start. Breakfast is important for a couple of different reasons. It breaks your overnight fast, kick starting your day and creates sustained, balanced sugar levels (there is nothing worse than a grumpy, hungry child). This is especially important for active toddlers and children who need to refuel to enjoy the busy, active day ahead. It is also a great time to stock up on essential nutrients as breakfast is generally high in carbohydrate, fibre, calcium and a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
In a couple of schools I’ve taught in it was commonplace for the children to arrive with empty tummies or having eaten some kind of convenient snack en-route such as a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar. Understandably the difference in the concentration, behaviour, mood and energy between the children who had had a big balanced breakfast and those that had not was enormous. Now having my own child and watching how active and busy he is I can’t imagine not giving him breakfast.
The health benefits of eating a balanced breakfast, of 3 or more food groups, have been shown in many studies. You only need to glance at the New Zealand Heart Foundation or Diabetes NZ to see these organisations encourage a healthy breakfast. It is well documented and researched that people who eat breakfast generally snack less and make healthier food choices during the rest of the day. They tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol and as a result are at lower risk of becoming obese or developing heart disease or diabetes.
As children tend to copy their parents Mike and I need to be eating a healthy breakfast it too. Freddie definitely eats better when we sit down together rather than on the days when we are rushing around trying to get things sorted for the day ahead. Here is a couple of recipes we all enjoyed eating together this weekend.
Makes: 2 Serves (1 adult & 1 toddler)
Preparation: 5 mins
Cooking: 5 mins
40g grated cheese
1 spring onion
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 small tomato
2 tortilla wraps
Preheat a frying pan or griddle pan on a high heat.
Grate cheese, chop ham and tomato into small pieces and slice spring onion thinly. Mix all the ingredients and share between the two wraps.
Fold the wraps in half.
Place the folded wrap in the griddle or frying pan and press down. Cook for about 2 minutes until crispy then flip over and repeat.
Transfer to a plate, cut into trangles and allow to cool slightly.
Makes: 10 pancakes
Preparation: 7 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes (3 batches of pancakes)
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
3 tbsp wheatgerm
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
100g puréed berries (I use frozen mixed berries)
Unsalted butter or oil for frying
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients together and whisk into the flour mixture.
Purée berries and fold into the pancake batter. Leave for 3-5 minutes for batter to thicken and bubbles to form.
Melt butter in frying pan and spoon a tablespoon of mixture into the frying pan and cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles form on the surface and base is golden, flip and repeat.
Serve with yoghurt and sliced fruit.