Going without breakfast places teens at an increased risk of obesity. A Harvard study found that children who skip breakfast have a fourfold increased risk of becoming obese.

Researchers theorize that breakfast is important each morning because it starts the metabolism for the day, and the fibre consumed helps with blood glucose regulation and a decrease in the hormone grehlin, which causes an increased appetite.

Almost any kind of breakfast is helpful. But an ideal one consists of protein, such as eggs, meat or cheese, as well as whole-grain fibre, such as wheat toast, oatmeal or cereal (ideally six grams of fibre per serving). Fruits are a great breakfast choice because they contain essential vitamins, fibre and phytonutrients that are helpful cancer-fighting agents.

Here are some ways to help your teen make breakfast a part of every day:

  • Have protein bars and fresh fruit readily available and visible.
  • Have a fruit smoothie with yogurt or protein powder prepared the night before and waiting in the refrigerator.
  • Set breakfast cereal, milk and utensils on the table ready to go.
  • Sit with your teen and eat together.
  • Wake up a little early once in a while and go on a breakfast date.

Help your teen achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle by making breakfast a priority, having quality food choices available and modelling good nutrition and exercise.

From Focus on Your Child’s Teen Phases, August 2008. Published by Focus on the Family U.S. © 2008 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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