Source: Press Release 10/22/2010

Herbalife Observes Breakfast for Children

In a nationwide survey sponsored by Herbalife, 73 percent of parents said that their kids ate breakfast at home every day before going off to school, while only about 5 percent of parents reported that their kids never ate breakfast. So, the message that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" seems to be getting heard, at least by parents of kids aged 6-12.

That's the good news. But what kids typically eat is another story. The survey of over 1100 parents in the U.S. conducted by Synovate eNation, found that kids' top three breakfast choices were refined grain products like cold cereal, waffles or pancakes, and bread products like toast and bagels. Fewer than half of those surveyed said that their kids typically ate eggs in the morning and less than half (41 percent) said that their kids ate fruit before leaving for school.

"Just as important as making sure that kids eat breakfast in the morning, is making sure that kids get a well-balanced meal before going to school," says Luigi Gratton, MD, vice president of nutrition education at Herbalife. "A breakfast high in refined grains and low in protein won't keep kids going until lunch, so energy can lag and academic performance can suffer," he adds.

To keep going physically and mentally, kids need a balance of healthy carbohydrates and protein. Fresh fruits and whole grains provide energy, and also provide fiber that kids are often lacking. High quality proteins -- like milk, soy milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and eggs-- help keep kids satisfied until lunch time and also keep them mentally alert. Dairy products also provide much-needed calcium and vitamin D that, for many kids, are in short supply.

While the survey found that the number of kids who didn't eat breakfast was small, those numbers start to rise as kids get older. As kids move into adolescence, they'll often opt to skip breakfast just to catch a few extra minutes of sleep, or they're so pressed for time that they just grab something quick to eat along the way.

"Making it easy to put together quick, satisfying meals in the morning will help kids establish a lifelong healthy breakfast habit," says Gratton. "Stock your refrigerator with easy-to-eat cartons of yogurt, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs and sticks of string cheese, and stock your pantry with whole grain cereals like oatmeal or shredded wheat. Or, show them how to whip up a protein smoothie to sip on while they're getting ready."

And, breakfast doesn't always have to be breakfast food. "There's no law that says kids can't eat last night's leftovers or a turkey sandwich for breakfast," Gratton concluded.

Survey of US adult population, conducted by Synovate eNation, 9-15-2010 through 9-24-2010, margin of error +/- 3 percentage points.

View Herbalife International Review

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