Breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day. It’s fuel for our kids to get them ready to tackle their day, which is super important now that they’re back in school. So why is it that most breakfast foods targeted at our kids are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and have no nutritional benefits?!
This kind of start to the day will not only cause them to crash (and still be hungry!) in a few hours, but can also lead to serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and above all it gets them addicted to the wrong foods- wanting more and more — and never being satisfied. Because of junk food addiction, it doesn’t teach them to consume real, nutritious foods where breakfast is now a feast of processed and junk food.
Below, we are sharing 10 of the absolute worst breakfast foods that you should never give your kids.
PopTarts: Marketed for their convenience factor, this junk food marvel is one of the worst breakfast foods you can give your kids. The American Heart Association (AHA) says that the daily sugar intake for children is 23 grams or less. PopTarts have 14 grams in each one! They are loaded with sugar, very high in sodium, refined flour, soybean oil, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, an array of artificial colors just to name a few of the detrimental ingredients. They say that it contains fruit, but the fruit filling contains only 10% of fruit and the rest is made of the most unhealthy refined vegetable oils and flour. If it’s the convenience you are looking for, just grab a banana- that would be much better and sustain your child for a few hours.
Sugar Cereals: The grocery store is dedicated to long aisles of this morning’s junk food. Greeted with happy cartoons of celebrities, Big Food lures kids in at a young age the promises of prizes and their bright boxes. After eating this bowl of artificially-dyed and sugar, your child will “crash” shortly thereafter and still not have a nutritional meal that their growing minds and bodies need. Plus, excess consumption of sugar like this can increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. All the artificial food coloring also may contribute to hyperactivity in children .
Yogurt: Yogurt isn’t bad in and of itself (we prefer Greek yogurt), but companies have masked its probiotic benefits with food colorings, food starch and so much sugar such as YoCrunch with M&Ms. Opt for some original and simple Greek yogurt that will provide the probiotics they are known for and a good portion of the protein they need for a good morning meal
White Bread: Bread has gotten a bad rap. Why? Refined white bread and even wheat bread has little-to-no nutritional benefits . Because of the highly processed nature of bread where all the fiber has been removed and some of the protein, leaving out the starch and making digestion and absorption too fast, thus the blood sugar rises too quickly. We recommend in the morning to feed your children with foods that are not processed so your kids don’t have a sugar crash during their school day.
Granola Bars : Granola in and of itself can be a healthy option (and a great topping to your Greek yogurt). However, commercially-made granola is made with so much added sugar, fat, and calories that can lead to other health problems and will not be beneficial for your children, especially during school hours. Stick to homemade, low-sugar granola and add some sort of protein such as nuts.
Donuts: These are the worst! Not sure why they are considered a breakfast item. The real problem is how processed they are and the amount of sugar they add to them. Containing a very high glycemic index, donuts give your children a huge blood sugar spike and then even a bigger sugar crash that will leave them tired and hungry in the middle of the school day . They also contain artificial dyes, preservatives, refined flour, and no fiber. Another problem with this wonder junk food is that they are glamorized on Instagram by influencers — impacting our kids’ choices — making them appear to be cool or a must-have food, when they are really a huge impact on one’s health.
Pancakes/Waffles: Many pancake and waffle mixes are basically just flour, which
has no nutrients for your kids to start their day. This breakfast food also includes fatty butter, syrup, and even whipped cream that does nothing for them — except having them hyped up on sugar. Try a rice cake with some almond butter and sliced fruit instead.
Muffins: If you deconstruct what muffins are, you will see that they’re just cake without the frosting and consuming them for breakfast is an awful way to start the day. They’re made with refined vegetable oils, refined carbs, sugar, and preservatives, which makes it a very unhealthy food — for breakfast, and really, anytime of the day.
Fruit Juice: There’s no reason why kids should be drinking juice. Most of the commercial fruit juices on the market contain very little juice and are sweetened with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. They cause your child’s blood sugar levels to rise fast, since there is no fiber or fat to slow down absorption, increasing the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other diseases. These fruit juices in the morning can make children more irritable, tired, and even more hungry. Instead, make sure they drink water or flavor water with fresh herbs and fruits for natural sweetness. If you still want to give them fruit juice, make them at home from the actual fruits and if you can leave some of the fruit fiber by blending the fruit instead of juicing.
Bagels: This is basically refined flour with a high glycemic index that can cause crashes. And like muffins, they are typically double the serving (more caloric) and do little to help your child start their day.
As you can see, the main breakfast “foods” in typical American households are very processed with no nutritional value and a very high glycemic index. And it’s a real problem as our kids are not consuming foods anymore, nor are they eating food with any real benefits to their growing bodies and minds.
Breakfast is a very important meal of the day, especially for children before the start of their school day. Breakfast is when you “Break” the fast of the night where it helps to kickstart the body’s metabolism and helps it to refuel. Choose foods that provide protein, healthy fats, and fiber, as well as those that are low in sugar and your child, will thrive — not only in school but in life.