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Please stop believing the statement, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Breakfast is definitely not the most important meal of the day, and likely not important at all for adults.

 “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a marketing slogan invented and used by Kellogg’s in 1917 to sell cornflakes. 

Cornflakes, by the way, is one of the worst, most nutritionally challenged, breakfast options out there, especially for children. If the cereal has added sugar, it is actually quite harmful as a breakfast option for children. Sugar in breakfast foods is a cause of obesity and metabolic disease in children.

Since 1917, the food industry has latched on to the Kellogg’s marketing slogan. Thanks to all that marketing and repeated messaging, now everyone says and believes that breakfast is the most important meal of the. This includes your misguided nutritionist and your grandmother. It’s total BS.

The scientific evidence seems to point towards breakfast avoidance as a superior health choice for most adults. Breakfast avoidance may actually deliver significant protection from metabolic disease. Unless you already have a metabolic disease (diabetes), in which case you must eat breakfast to maintain glycaemic sufficiency.

But children must have a nutritious breakfast. A nutritious breakfast has adequate protein, healthy fats, micronutrient diversity, and complex carbohydrates. Ensure that there is no added sugar, jaggery, honey, or sweet syrups in the breakfast. Also Ensure that the breakfast is not primarily grain. Only upma or aloo paratha for breakfast may be worse than the cornflakes. Kids need enough added protein (paneer, eggs, or meat) and vegetables (palak or other greens, other non-starchy vegetables) as part of their breakfast.

Dals (pulses) and beans are not adequate sources of protein for your child’s breakfast. They will be sufficient only if they contribute to the majority of calories in the meal (think 70%). Replace the Upma and Aloo paratha by Paruppu Adai or Dal ka Cheela. Change the Urad to Rice ratio in the idli and dosa from 30:70, to 70:30.

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