September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and with the school year ahead it’s the perfect time for parents to reflect on and work towards solutions to the health crisis facing the children of our country.

Today, nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese. Overweight youth are at greater risk for numerous health consequences, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

In order to reverse the trend of childhood obesity in this country, it is crucial that parents have the information they need to help them teach children the importance of healthy eating and being physically active.” – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Breakfast for Better Health

One place to start? Eating Breakfast. Yes, as you have heard dozens of times, breakfast indeed may be the most important meal of the day, both for your child…and for you!

During sleep the body is fasting, so eating breakfast when you wake up replenishes the energy and nutrients you need to start the day. This fuel is used throughout the day for growth, muscles, brain function, and regulating blood sugar levels, and of course, preventing HUNGER.

Research shows that hungry children have difficulty paying attention and focusing in school, have diminished academic performance, increased illness, and difficulty in social situations.

Does your family skip breakfast, or have a difficult time preparing it in the morning? It may be helpful to remember that breakfast doesn’t have to mean eggs, toast, bacon, and orange juice, and you can even make it the night before or rely on dinner leftovers!

Use this handy chart to put together a hearty combination of protein, healthy fat and complex carbohydrate foods that will stick with you until lunch and give you the boost you need:

Learn more about the benefits of breakfast in my article featured in this month’s Health and Wellness Magazine.