Breakfast: teaching by example

By Lic. Mariana Patron Farías

The lack of generating the breakfast habit is accentuated as they grow older, since between 10 and 17 years of age this value rises to 6.3%. The reasons are varied: lack of time, lack of habit at the family level, lack of hunger so early in the morning. These are the most popular reasons that lead the child to start the day and attend classes without energy, with a lack of attention, tired, unmotivated, apathetic, etc. It is also worth clarifying that the omission of this first meal of the day has serious long-term consequences since it is an eating behavior that is related to the increased risk of overweight and obesity.

Faced with this situation, adults have a very important responsibility, which is to set an example for children. We cannot expect them to sit at the table and spend time eating breakfast if we do not have this good habit ourselves. A “complete” breakfast should provide energy to start the day, proteins and calcium to promote the growth of the child’s body structures, fibers to promote intestinal transit and, last but not least, it should provide vitamins and minerals. to provide vitality and increase defenses.

Compared to this standard, the typical Argentine breakfast is “poor” in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The lack of dairy products and fruits is observed, as well as the preference for those derived from refined wheat flour (white bread, bills, puddings and sweet cookies). One of the food groups necessary to make a complete breakfast is dairy (milk, yogurt and cheese) and/or foods that provide protein (eg eggs). These foods provide calcium and protein, basic nutrients for the formation and strengthening of bones, teeth and other tissues that make up the body. Dairy products also provide vitamins A and D.

A complete and adequate breakfast is one that covers 15-20% of the daily energy requirement. For this reason, foods that provide energy from the carbohydrates present are needed: breakfast cereals (flakes, oatmeal, granola, pillows, puffed corn, etc.), bread, toast, cookies and also fruits, being the banana the one that provides the most energy (and one of the favorites of the boys). In the choice it is important to prioritize whole foods, with added bran and/or seeds to increase dietary fiber and provide more satiety.


The addition of sugar, sweetened cocoa, candies, jams, packaged juices, butter, cookies, sugary cereals, or baked goods should be moderate. Parents can teach children to measure the portion of these foods and in this way make them grow up with the ability to know how to eat everything in the right portion. Here are some practical ideas to offer children in the morning:

• 1 glass of milk. 1 slice of whole milk bread spread with white cheese and mashed banana.

• 1 pot of yogurt, with ½ cup of corn flakes, oatmeal or granola pillows and 1 fruit in pieces.

• 1 slice of melon with a port salut cheese and tomato sandwich.

• 1 glass of chocolate milk (1 to 2 teaspoons of cocoa and/or sugar). Wholemeal bread or crackers spread with strawberry jam and add fresh strawberries as a topping.

• 1 pot of yogurt. Banana and oatmeal pancake (smash a small banana, add a scrambled egg and 2 tablespoons of traditional oatmeal; (optional vanilla or cinnamon essence).

• 1 scrambled egg on toasted milk bread, a glass of milk or yogurt and a bowl of seasonal fruit.

• Pancake (with whole wheat flour) filled with applesauce and walnuts. 1 glass of milk or yogurt.