Making Sure Kids Are Healthy Starts With Breakfast
Health and Nutrition Breakfast is an essential part of learning and energy for children. Too many are without access to a regular breakfast.
The Parents Pioneering Superfood Snacking
Annie Chun, Co-Founder, gimMe Snacks
“Seaweed truly is a super food,” says gimMe Co-Founder, Annie Chun. “The versatile veggie has been enjoyed for its taste, texture and health benefits for centuries by various cultures around the world. It has the highest density of vitamins and minerals of any other vegetable on the planet and it’s a great source of essential nutrients like iodine, fiber and protein. Naturally low in calories and sodium, it’s the perfect healthy snack.”
“Seaweed has a savory Umami flavor that kids just love,” says Steve Broad, gimMe Co-Founder. “Umami is the bold savory and flavorful fifth taste (in addition to sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) that pairs perfectly with the crunchiness of our seaweed snacks and new Seaweed Thins.”
Emphasis on ingredients
“We like to think that gimMe Snacks are unlike any other,” says Chun. “Our seaweed is organically and sustainably grown. Every batch is tested against our standards for taste, texture and flavor. We do this to ensure our seaweed is as nutritious and flavorful as possible, making a positive impact for both our customers and the environment. Just like the green sea turtle in our logo, which can snack on seaweed for 100 years, our goal is help everyone snack their way to a long healthy life.”
We’ve always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps fuel the body for the day ahead and supports good physical health and cognition in adults and children. While we may not all be running marathons on a daily basis, having the energy to get through the day is something from which we all can benefit. Studies have also shown those eating a healthy breakfast report lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol, improved heart health, reduced risk of diabetes and reduced risk of obesity. A well-balanced breakfast can improve your mood and keep you from feeling “hangry” — that combination of hungry and angry some experience when a meal is missed or skipped.
The need for a well-balanced morning meal is especially critical for children. Aside from providing the necessary nutrients for children’s growing bodies and brains, according to the CDC, children starting their day with a healthy breakfast are able to perform better in school. Studies have also shown children who eat a healthy breakfast are able to focus better in class and demonstrate more on-task behaviors. Yet, too many children start their day without a healthy meal. There are many reasons children (and adults) aren’t starting their day with a nutrient-rich breakfast. Families may be challenged with starting their day together and eating breakfast as a unit. Work schedules, early school start times and bus schedules can all impact a family’s ability to sit down to a morning meal. Food insecurity is also a primary cause of children starting their day without a healthy breakfast. According to USDA, 6.5 million children living in food insecure households may not know where they will get their next meal. Food insecurity isn’t occasional missed breakfast; it impacts children on a more consistent basis.
Providing a solution
During the week of March 5-8, schools around the country will be celebrating National School Breakfast Week. Schools provide a solution for many families looking for ways to help their children start their day with a well-balanced meal. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 created nutritional guidelines for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs and improved the nutritional value of school meals. Schools are meeting these guidelines and working to feed all students a healthy breakfast so that no child goes hungry. Schools around the country are finding ways to improve both the meal quality and access to the most important meal of the day. Alternative breakfast programs help increase breakfast participation by moving breakfast out of the cafeteria before the bell rings in order to meet children where they are located in their classrooms or in key entry points within the school. Breakfast in the classroom, whereby students actually receive and eat breakfast in the classroom, has demonstrated improvements in participation, attendance and academic performance. Schools can start or expand these types of programs with the help of grants, such as those from Action for Healthy Kids. School breakfast provides a level playing field at the start of the day, ensuring all children begin their day with a healthy meal and have the opportunity to grow and learn.