Including protein-rich foods in breakfast can reduce heavy lunching in children

Including protein-rich foods in breakfast can reduce heavy lunching in children

A recent study has found that serving protein-rich food during breakfast can reduce your child's intake of heavy lunch. Read on to know more.

On busy mornings, it is compulsory and even necessary sometimes to send off kids with just a bowl of cereal or a stuffed parantha. But this routine cannot be maintained for long.

Eating a light meal for breakfast will only negate your child’s hunger pangs for a few hours but they will eventually end up consuming a heavy lunch. But researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, have found that a breakfast rich in proteins can keep your child fuller during mid-day than cereals, oatmeals or even paranthas.

The study was first published in Eating Behavior and also explains that the affect of consuming protein-rich foods during breakfast only impacts the mid-day meal.

For the purpose of the study, Dr Tanja Kral, recruited children aged between 8 years and 10 years and studied their behavior based on the following activities:

  • First, they were asked to consume 350 calorie breakfast including either eggs, oatmeal or cereals. Active children require anything between 1,600 calories and 1,800 calories.
  • Next, they were asked to play games with the research staff.
  • Finally, they were asked to consume their daily lunch meals.

The children had to finish the entire breakfast meal but they could have as little or as much lunch as they wanted. The research found some interesting observations:

  • After consuming the egg breakfast (which included scrambled eggs, whole wheat toast, diced peaches, and one percent milk) they consumed about 70 calories less in their lunch (than usual).
  • The 70 calorie drop in consumption of their mid-day meal amounted to a 4 percent drop in their daily caloric needs.
  • This kind of meal only affected their mid-day meal pattern and not their evening meal pattern.

In a statement released by the university, Dr Kral says, “It’s really important that we identify certain types of food that can help children feel full and also moderate caloric intake, especially in children who are prone to excess weight gain.”

Protein-rich foods for children

Studies have shown that protein-rich foods provide abut 10 percent to 12 percent of fibre. However, their amount of consumption depends on the age and weight of a child. For instance, an average 4 or 6-year-old preschooler needs about 22 grams of protein each day, while an older 7 to 10-year-old requires about 28 grams of protein each day.

So the most common and easily available protein-rich foods that you must include in your child's diet are milk, soy milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, lean meats, fish, and poultry, beans, tofu, lentils, and other legumes grains, including bread and pasta nuts and seeds.

Read: 6 types of milk and their myriad benefits

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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