Filling the breakfast void

More than one in four school children in Australia could be going to school without breakfast leaving them less able to concentrate and lacking in essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, dietary fibre and important vitamins and minerals.

Research from the Dietitian Association of Australia shows children who skip breakfast also tend to be significantly heavier than their breakfast-eating peers. The issue does not seem to be improving with one in four children now going to school hungry every morning.

The statistics have inspired school tuckshops to bridge the nutrition gap by providing not only healthier morning teas and lunches, but also breakfasts.

Industry is also responding with Sunny Queen launching a new range of breakfast omelettes, from a recipe specially developed to get the thumbs up from kids AND nutritionists.

The omelette range has been given the ‘green’ approval rating by the School Canteen Association recognising its low kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt content.

Healthy Kids School Canteen Association (SCA) Dietitian Grace Bolger said a healthy, nutritious breakfast is an essential part of a healthy diet. “This is especially important for children and adolescents within the school environment, to help maintain concentration and alertness, which are essential for learning.

“Healthy Kids SCA work with the food industry to encourage them to develop and provide healthy and nutritious food and beverage choices for children that can be served in school canteens for breakfast, recess and lunch.

“Making time to provide a healthy breakfast can be difficult some days, particularly given the increase in the number of families where both parents work, and having breakfast provided at the school canteen is an alternative to having breakfast at home,” said Bolger.

Not eating breakfast has also been linked to weight gain as those who skip breakfast are more likely to snack on less nutritious meals with high fat intake.

Michelle Trute, renowned chef and Sunny Queen nutritionist, said children should also be encouraged to make healthy choices. “Offering healthy menu options is a step in the right direction but encouraging children to choose healthy food over less nutritious higher fat alternatives is also important,” said Trute.

To make a healthy breakfast more appealing to children, Sunny Queen has invested in promotional tools, such as posters, for school canteens that include a funky creative concept inviting children to ‘Grab a Wrappa’ (a Sunny Queen omelette served in a tortilla wrap).

“If we can broaden their eating repertoire at school we will encourage better food choices in other environments.” Trute added that eggs have a powerful role to play in helping combat childhood obesity because they are high in protein and vitamins, and low in saturated fat.

“Eggs make a great breakfast option for children because they are also a great source of Omega-3 which is good for learning and improving concentration levels in the classroom.”

Sunny Queen omelettes are available to school canteens via wholesalers nationally. They come frozen, ready to heat and serve (heat in microwave, conventional oven or even a sandwich press).

For more information contact:

Julie Proctor

National Marketing Manager, Sunny Queen

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