Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Healthy Breakfast (and a giveaway!)

I'm going to venture out on a slightly different (okay, very different) track here today, and talk about breakfast.  Weird, I know, but in my opinion, as it has always been throughout my life, breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day.  In talking to other people, at work and in my daily life, I have heard time and time again that they have skipped their breakfast.  I can't quite get my head around that.  I can't really function without my cup of coffee then my bowl of cereal or oatmeal.  It's funny, there are times when we'll go out for breakfast and I'll have eggs and bacon, or times when we'll get bagels, but I'm never really all that happy with that.  I'd seriously rather just eat cereal.  But I always eat something

General Mills has provided me with a gift pack of cereal, as well as some very interesting facts and information about the nutritional value of cereal, through MyBlogSpark.  Please keep in mind that my statements and opinions are my own, and that I'm doing this because it happens to be something I feel quite strongly about anyway.

In my house, making sure Samantha eats breakfast is super-important.  I make sure that whatever she has contains the healthy essentials I know she needs, especially considering how picky she can be (although she's getting better).  Cereal happens to be one of the healthiest breakfast options.  While she doesn't actually eat cereal for breakfast yet, we do give it to her dry, as a snack (she won't let me put milk in it, unfortunately).  I mean, what household containing small children doesn't have Cheerios as a staple item in their closet, anyway? 

General Mills commissioned a survey of DC-area parents (you local moms should read it - it's quite interesting!), to learn about their children's eating habits.  here are some facts:

97% agree that breakfast is important for their children every day
86% said that cereal is a healthy breakfast choice
81% said that good flavor is important
60% want a breakfast that is full of vitamins and minerals (60%?  Honestly, what parent would not say that??)
59% wanted a convenient breakfast option

Something that I didn't know, but am thrilled to hear, is that in a 2009 study, it was found that children who eat cereal have significantly higher intakes of whole grain, folate, calcium, iron, fiber, zinc and other nutrients!  And studies have shown that children who eat breakfast in general tend to do better at school, and are more able to stay alert.  These are all things I want for Samantha, and with a picky eater such as herself, ensuring good nutrition is crucial.  Check out this breakfast benefits fact site...some good stuff here!

Whatever some parent's reasons for not giving their children breakfast in the morning (perhaps it's too early?),  it really is important that they come up with some way to start them off right each day.  There are so many convenient options available out there, and it also may really be worth it to build a bit of extra time into your child's schedule in the mornings to accomodate breakfast.  I have Samantha up no later than 6:30, breakfast done by 7, washed, dressed and out for the bus by 7:20.  It's a bold schedule, but trust me, it's worth it, and she expects and thrives from the routine every day!

And now for the giveaway!  I will choose, at random, one of you who can comment and tell me what cereal benefits are most important to you and your family (sorry, I think only US residents can win).  The winner will receive a gift pack of 10 individual serving cereal packs and a milk pitcher.  I'll do the drawing on the afternoon of Monday, June 6th.  I tried to post a photo of the prize pack, but for some reason it's getting refused by my server...  Maybe this link will work?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you all!


Heather T. said...

I'd be glad to expound the benefits of cereal for breakfast! I can. not. function. without. breakfast. And that's that. Cereal is my choice because it's convenient, filling and the multiple varieties we... have available can satisfy whatever "diet" I happen to be into at the moment. Consequently because cereal is so flexible as far as content and consistency goes, this particular breakfast food has seen me through a life time of oral surgery. Go cereal!

Melissa said...

It's funny, I knew I wasn't the healthiest of eaters, but Claire has really reinforced that fact for me. I would never dream of letting her eat like I do. :)

No breakfast for me usually, just coffee and an early lunch, but Claire gets breakfast everyday. Usually oatmeal, yogurt or eggs. My mornings are hectic, and fast and convenient is essential. Cereal is a great way to get some variety into Claire's morning routine.

Nathan's Mama said...

Cereal is easy! I usually feed nathan yogurt, but if he's not in a yogurt mood he gets dry cereal, because we are not ready for the milk-on-a-spoon challenge yet.

Dana Chandler said...

Cereal is important to our family because Luke would starve without it! Like Sammi he eats it dry, as a snack all through out the day--it's one of the few things he'll eat! And I love Cheerios because he doesn't choke on them like some other foods. And like you--cereal is my preference for my breakfast--love eggs and bacon for lunch or dinner but give me cereal in the morning! :)

my life: said...

I don't eat breakfast. :(
I love it...I often have it for dinner, but if I eat in the morning...I'm starving all day. I do NEED my coffee in the morning and of course I make sure my kiddos get something yummy. ;0)
Grace LOVES fruit...but I attempt cereal from time to time...she only eats it if I feed it to her though. :0/

Katrina said...

I love the vitamins and minerals!

Anonymous said...

Well both my boys just love love breakfast and cereal is their favorite and with milk on it! I love the fact that it is really good for them and they don't even realize it. Both our boys love the good for you cereal not all the sugary stuff!


krlr said...

Ah.. what the heck. Cereal? Easy, fast, healthy, they like it, and they have to eat it at the table (vs toast w/crumbs in the car).

[...resisting the temptation to wonder about what OTHER beverages I could put in the pitcher. We go thru milk too fast to bother putting it in diff container anyway].