Balance your diet, balance your health Balance your diet, balance your health

Is Breakfast for Kids Mandatory in the Morning?

Yes! It really is.


We’ve heard for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but there’s real rationale behind the old adage. Breakfast for kids is especially important, since nutrient needs are high during childhood and adolescence. Skipping the morning meal means spending the rest of the day trying to play catch-up.


5 Fast Facts About Kids’ Breakfast


  1. Breakfast skipping is a problem. We all know the reasons: your child slept late, they aren’t hungry yet, they’ll grab something once they get to school. But the fact is that one of every four teens skips breakfast. Even if they say they’ll eat a larger lunch or will have a hefty snack after school, the reality is that nutrients missed by skipping breakfast are not usually made up later in the day.

  2. Smaller bodies store less energy. Kids’ bodies are in a constant state of growth. They aren’t as well-equipped to store energy for later use, like we as adults can do. Remember, breakfast is the meal that occurs after 8-10 hours (ideally!) of sleep at night, meaning the body has been fasting for all that time. To fuel the morning, and the rest of the day, they need energy from foods and beverages – they can’t rely on their body’s energy stores. That’s what a nutrient-rich breakfast is for.

  3. Protein at breakfast is particularly important. Protein is the nutrient that supports growth and helps build muscle. During the night the body is breaking down more protein than it builds, meaning your child is waking up with low reserves. A protein-rich breakfast is important to replenish the protein losses and improve protein balance to support growth.

  4. Growing bones need calcium and vitamin D. Those bones and teeth depend on calcium and vitamin D from the diet to grow and be strong. Nearly half of children ages 4-19 are not getting enough calcium, and a full 90 percent aren’t getting enough vitamin D. Cow’s milk is a good source of both of these nutrients and is one of the reasons why it’s a common breakfast beverage.

  5. Breakfast can iron out iron needs. Our bodies depend on iron to carry oxygen through the blood to distant cells and organs. Kids, with their rapidly growing bodies, and especially teenage girls, need iron and are at increased risk for deficiency. Iron-fortified foods like breads, breakfast cereals and nutritional beverages are good ways to get this mineral.


Keep it Easy with These Simple Solutions


We get it – mornings are hectic as is, so why complicate things? Keep the peace by having an easy breakfast for kids they can prepare themselves or grab for on-the-go.


These ideas provide important breakfast nutrition for kids while delivering great taste. You may even get an appreciative grunt out of your half-awake kids!


  1. Iron-fortified cereal with milk. Most breakfast cereals are fortified with iron and other nutrients that kids need. Serve it up with milk and they’ll have the calcium, vitamin D and protein that they need as well. Get extra credit by topping cereal with fresh berries or sliced bananas for more vitamins and fiber.

  2. Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Nutritional Drinks. To help kids get the nutrients they need, give them Carnation Breakfast Essentials®. Each portable and convenient 8-fluid ounce serving provides 10 grams of high-quality protein, and 20% or more the Daily Value (DV) of 21 vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D to help build strong bones.

  3. Green smoothie made with spinach, fruit and milk. Smoothies are a simple solution – just toss in a blender and go! If drinking your greens sounds silly, fear not – the fruit and milk or other liquid mixed in will make it all taste delicious. Spinach is a good source of iron, and fruit provides fiber and good flavor. Use milk to help kids get protein, calcium and vitamin D -or even make it with Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Nutritional Drinks or Powder Drink Mixes! If you choose a plant-based milk alternative, check to make sure it has protein and is fortified with calcium and vitamin-D.

  4. Toast with peanut butter and a calcium- and vitamin D-fortified beverage. Another simple breakfast solution is whole wheat toast. Most bread is iron-fortified, and topping it with peanut butter, or even a cooked egg, helps give kids the protein they need. Round it out with a calcium and vitamin-D fortified beverage like fortified orange juice, milk or Carnation Breakfast Essentials® Nutritional Drinks.

Stay up to date with our Insights!

By clicking SIGN UP, I agree to receive information from BOOST® including special offers, promotions, and more. I certify that I have read and agree with the Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and About our Ads.

Thank you for subscribing!

We'll be in touch.