Sinclair Cares: The importance of breakfast

(Photo: Pixabay)

Breakfast has long been called the most important meal of the day.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics says as many as 12 percent of young kids don’t eat it.

Even more teenagers skip out.

Here’s are some tips to start your family’s day healthy and easily.

Dietitians say the list of nutrition facts is the place start.

“Breakfast is crucial especially for students because it gets their brains charged up and ready to learn in the morning and also gets them energy to fuel throughout their day,” said Jess Buschmann, clinical dietician.

Buschmann says look out for sugar, specifically added sugar. It’s listed as things like corn syrup, dextrose, and sucrose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Americans get too much added sugar and that can lead to health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

Some cereals have a sugary reputation, but Buschmann says the amount in some yogurt, along with flavored oatmeals and milks may surprise you.

“The more ingredients you can pronounce the better,” Buschmann said.

“You find yourself starting to read the labels and then you get discouraged because sugar is in everything,” shopper Marcia Zand said.

Pre-planning, Buschmann says, will help your family.

She says list five meals your kids enjoy. Make sure you include at least three food groups in each meal.

Consider whole grains and carbohydrates like bread, cereal, or fruit for quick energy.

Protein, like eggs or lean meat, keeps you feeling more full, longer.

And dairy helps build bones.

“Avocado toast is very trendy right now but also very good and very nutritious for you,” Buschmann said.

You can swap also out an egg

Still not easy enough?

Buschmann says fruit with peanut butter is an option to start.

“Yes, healthy eating is harder but absolutely not impossible,” Buschmann said.

And she says it's never too late to make your grocery store choices healthier.

The FDA is updating what's on "nutritional facts" labels for foods. Things like the amount of "added sugar" will be included. The government says the changes will make healthier choices easier to see.

But it could a while before you see it.

Large food companies have until 2020 to update their packaging.

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