Giving your teen a great start to the day

12 - 18 years
Breakfast bowl

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast can help your teenager to concentrate and learn by providing energy and nutrients to fuel their brain and body.

Why is breakfast important?

Breakfast does exactly what the word says, it breaks the fast after a night’s sleep and provides the body and brain with fuel to start the day. Just like any other organ in the body, the brain needs energy to work properly.

It is common for teenagers to skip breakfast – they often go to bed late, then get up late and rush off to school without anything to eat. But with rapidly growing bodies and developing brains, teenagers need to eat breakfast to be able to perform their best at school. Eating a healthy breakfast can help your teen to concentrate, increase their attention span and assist with their memory.

What should be in a healthy breakfast?

Carbohydrates such as wholegrain cereals and porridge can give your teen immediate energy to start the day. Proteins such as eggs and low-fat dairy provide a slower release of energy to fuel the rest of the day. Foods with natural fibre, like wholegrain bread and fresh fruit, give a feeling of fullness and help with digestion.

Encourage your teen to avoid coffee and energy drinks. Drinking plenty of water or non-caffeinated drinks (such as milk or juice) can help your teen to feel less fatigued and maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

How you can help

  • Encourage your teen to wake up with enough time to have breakfast.
  • Make convenient and healthy breakfast options available for your teenager to choose from.
  • Lead by example and let your teenager see you eating a healthy breakfast.

Make it a shared activity

Eating breakfast together can be great for talking about the day or week ahead, what is happening at school and how they are feeling. This might be more easily done on the weekend if you and your teenager have a busy morning routine.

If it is too difficult for your teen to sit down for breakfast before school, try having some healthy breakfast foods available for them to eat on the go. Good options include yogurt, wholegrain cereals, boiled eggs and fresh fruit – anything nutritious they can grab on their way out the door!

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Last modified
20 April 2020