Did you know?
- About 19% of children aged 10 – 14 years skip breakfast before going to school according to the 2012 SANHANES.
- Globally, up to 30% children, adolescents and adults regularly skip breakfast.
- 33.9% of children in the 2012 SANHANES gave the reason for skipping breakfast as not having enough food in the house. Other reasons are that they are not hungry in the morning (39.2%), they cannot get up early enough to have breakfast at home (19.2%), they did not have breakfast because people at home were not having breakfast (33%) or that they cannot make their own breakfast (15%).
- Children from families that eat meals together, show better food choices and better dietary quality and are more likely to consume breakfast. Parents not only influence their children’s decision to eat breakfast, but also the food they choose. Parents are responsible for the availability of foods, setting the rules, and initiating family meal patterns. It is also important to allow children to choose the kind of breakfast they prefer from the ones proposed; this helps to improve their ability to self-regulate food intake and reinforces their consumption habits.
- People who skip breakfast are more likely to consume unhealthy foods and beverages and tend to overeat throughout the day.
- In South Africa, only about 23% of children specifically between 6 months to 23 months meet the minimum standards for an acceptable quality diet, i.e. consumption of at least 4 or more food groups (one from animal source and at least 1 fruit or vegetables, in addition to a starchy food such as maize) for the day.
- Breakfast consumption improves an individual’s nutritional status. Better quality breakfasts are those that include grains, lower fat milk and fruit. A low glycaemic index breakfast (with minimally processed starchy foods) has the greatest influence over energy intake for the rest of the day. Studies also show that taking a complete and nutritious breakfast avoids feeling hungry in the morning which can lead to nibbling snack foods, particularly those high in sugar and fat.
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