Breakfast Is important
Breakfast is an important meal, particularly for children, as it breaks the fast of the sleep hours and prepares them for school and increases their attention span. Recent research provides compelling evidence that malnutrition even in its milder forms can have a detrimental effect on the cognitive development of children. Even short-term nutritional deficiencies influence the child’s behaviour, ability to concentrate and to perform complex tasks. Skipping a meal or eating a hurried breakfast can adversely affect the child’s problem solving ability.
Among the children who had breakfast, the type of breakfast they had, again made a big difference. Children who had curd rice, dhal rice with a side dish for breakfast scored the maximum in concentration and memory. Children who drank coffee or energy drink or porridge alone for breakfast scored less than the children who had both breakfast and an energy drink. Children who had idli or dosai with sambar performed better than children who had it with sugar or chutney as the former had both protein and carbohydrate and is a well-balanced meal.
The best breakfast is one which has a combination of carbohydrate, protein and fat like idli and sambar; rice and dhal or curd; chapatti with dhal egg curry; egg sandwiches; poori and potato, and a glass of milk. Breakfast, which provides only carbohydrates like idli and sugar, idiappam and sugar, gives immediate energy but it does not last long. Say ‘no’ to junk food.