Especially on weekdays, time is more than short in the morning. Every additional action throws the plan into disarray. But the time for a healthy breakfast for children is the most important.
Because with a balanced and fibre-rich breakfast, every child starts the day happier, more concentrated and, above all, healthier.
What does healthy eating for children actually look like?
As adults, we can understand and implement sentences like “You are what you eat”. Maybe sometimes more and sometimes less well, but still. If, on the other hand, children’s ears hear this, we can expect far less understanding – and that is absolutely fine. After all, the little ones are only concerned with whether it tastes good. And for adults, it’s more a question of whether it’s quick.
Faced with this balancing act, one might despair. But to ensure that children enjoy eating healthy food and breakfast without creative persuasion, we at VERIVAL have sought help from “both parties” – adults and children – in developing our children’s products:
On the one hand, through extensive scientific input from nutrition experts, and on the other hand, through hands-on tastings by children aged 6-10. “This way we could ensure that the products contain only as little sugar as necessary, but still clearly meet the taste of the little ones,” says Wolfgang Fojtl. And it can be quick too: the nutrient-rich VERIVAL breakfast with no added sugar is ideal for children. The porridge is also suitable as a warm breakfast option and can be prepared in just 3 minutes.
Five meals make sense for children
Children have less storage capacity than adults. A regular meal rhythm is therefore very important. Water can be served at every meal to cover the liquid requirement.
Nutrition experts for children also recommend three main meals and two snacks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These small meals should ideally consist of fruit, vegetables, milk and wholemeal products.
Sweets – in moderation. Not in masses.
Because children learn from their parents, it is always good when adults set a good example. This is not to say that no one should snack any more. But it is a fact that most sweets contain sugar and fat, and a one-sided sweet diet can lead to a drop in performance and poor concentration in children.
Sweets contain calories, but no vitamins and these are absolutely necessary for concentration. In addition to poor concentration, caries, diabetes, high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels are among the serious consequences of a one-sided sweet diet.
In Austria, every third child is overweight – excessive sugar consumption and a body mass index (BMI) that is usually too high are directly related to this. To counteract this, we have deliberately developed our VERIVAL products with reduced sugar content. Because we have a clear goal: to make healthy nutrition and a healthy breakfast that children also enjoy accessible to everyone.
Sugar in the morning brings worries.
But it’s not easy to make sure you have a child-friendly and balanced breakfast in the hectic morning. But it can often help to spot the hidden sugar traps.
Many children drink cocoa in the morning. And if sweetened breakfast cereals or bread with chocolate spread are added to the mix, children start the day with a considerable surplus of sugar. And unfortunately, this can really wreak havoc on a child’s body. The high-sugar breakfast causes a rapid rise in the blood sugar level, which, however, drops again just as quickly. In the first lessons or in the first hours of the kindergarten routine, this up and down can lead to a considerable lack of concentration.
It is often the hidden sources of sugar that cause excessive sugar consumption. Sweetened drinks, fruit yoghurts, sweetened muesli mixtures or children’s cereals are therefore not suitable for a healthy breakfast. But how about reduced-sugar versions of VERIVAL cerials, granola and muesli to try out new breakfast ideas?
The muesli gives your muffins a special bite and makes them even fruitier.
150gHeritage Grains Muesli (we chose the one with with apples and apricots)
150gWhole spelt flour
100gFresh fruits (we chose blueberries)
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Mix the dry ingredients (Verival Urkorn Muesli, wholemeal spelt flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and vanilla) in a mixing bowl. In a second bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, natural yoghurt, vegetable oil, applesauce and honey).
Next, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. The dough should not be stirred too much, just until everything is well mixed and all the dry ingredients are moist. The fresh fruit is the last thing to be added.
Line a muffin tray with muffin cups and carefully fill to about ¾ height with a spoon.
Bake the breakfast muffins in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Then leave to cool and enjoy!
Healthy eating for children starts with breakfast
It is always said that a healthy breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why is that actually so?
During the night, the body uses up a lot of reserves and breakfast replenishes the children’s energy stores. The muscles and brain are activated and switch to “reception”. The metabolism is boosted and the tired child’s body is supplied with energy.
Children who leave the house without breakfast find it harder to concentrate and think properly. They are often nervous and more easily irritated. In contrast, children who have eaten breakfast start the day in a better mood. They are also much safer and more careful on the way to school or kindergarten.
Unfortunately, however, breakfast often falls flat on weekdays, simply because there is no time. According to a study, every third child in Austria goes to school in the morning without a meal.
3 practical tips: how to make breakfast work in the morning
Tip 1: Prepare the breakfast table the night before (set out plates and glasses) – this saves time and reminds you of this nice ritual in the morning 🙂
Tip 2: Even 15 minutes more can be enough to have a healthy breakfast together – so why not set the alarm clock a little earlier?
At the weekend you can take all the time in the world for breakfast, but during the week you need simple breakfast ideas. Many children are not hungry this early in the morning or are real “breakfast muffleurs”. You should accept this and not push them to have a big breakfast. But a cup of warm tea, a glass of milk or water and a banana (perhaps cut into small pieces) make for a healthy start to the day.
Children’s porridge without added sugar, a delicious oatmeal shake, or muesli with oatmeal can also entice morning grouches to the table. And for real foodies, oatmeal muesli biscuits or oatmeal muffins for children can be a great idea.
Oatmeal is a great way to prepare a healthy and tasty breakfast for the kids. Warm or better cold? Tender, small-leaf oatmeal or the coarser version? The best thing is to look and try together with the children what could be the new breakfast hit.
P.S. Under our VERIVAL children’s brand Yanick & Fee, there are three other balanced, nutrient-rich organic products made from whole grains with low sugar content to choose from: chocolatey and fruity cereals as well as a berry crunchy with greatly reduced sugar content.
Warm, colourful and healthy. We say: Bye, bye morning slump.
Vitamin intake in the morning is also important: fruits and vegetables provide valuable dietary fibres that keep children feeling full. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals and secondary plant compounds. It is best to eat colourful and seasonal foods. That way, variety and, above all, different vitamins and minerals are added to the table.
Speaking of variety: some children prefer a hot breakfast. Or at least once in a while. This does not always have to be elaborate. A simple porridge or muesli with warm milk is very digestible. In addition, the body needs less energy to digest warm food. This saved energy gets the children motivated and with a constant energy level through the morning. And not only that: Eating a warm breakfast in the morning also strengthens your children’s immune system and gently boosts their metabolism.
Complex carbohydrates in the morning – why is this so important for children?
Fruit, vegetables, pulses, and wholemeal products contain valuable dietary fibre, i.e. particularly long-chain carbohydrates, and have a particularly positive effect on the body. A combination of all these components is ideal for breakfast.
Carbohydrates are the main energy suppliers for our body. They drive our brain to work. Unlike fats, for example, carbohydrates can be utilised by our body relatively quickly. Most of the carbohydrate energy is used up for our body’s basal metabolic rate (such as breathing, heartbeat, brain activity, and metabolism). Without carbohydrates, it would be much more difficult to meet these important energy needs.
Complex carbohydrates with multiple sugars – such as whole grain products – are particularly good and sustainable. The molecular structure of carbohydrates with multiple sugars is longer than that of simple sugars. So the body needs more time to break them down and get energy from them. This process keeps the blood sugar level more constant and is more satisfying.
This curbs cravings and stops the appetite for superfluous and unhealthy snacks in between meals. To keep it not only complex but also creative, you can go for variety when it comes to wholemeal products and vary between spelt, wheat and rye, for example – or prepare the cereal flakes and porridge with different components and toppings.
Healthy nutrition and eating should not only be pure energy intake, even for the youngest ones, but above all fun and enjoyable. Our packaging should also reflect this. Our VERIVAL children’s products are all about the cheeky siblings Yanick and Fee. Their funny adventures in the Tyrolean mountains put them in a good mood – and who wouldn’t want to taste the same breakfast as the two rascals on the pack?
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