Parenting »

Parenting : Young Children Absorb Everything They See and Hear

19 August 2014 – 12:05 am |

 
Who do our young children spend their most time with everyday?
Mommy? Grandparents? Nanny?
(Or, TV? Electronic Media, like iPads?)

Ever realise that children, especially young children, love to imitate the behaviours of people around them?
Especially those whom …

Read the full story »
Parenting

From the ups and downs of parenthood, to practical tips on enjoying and managing life with children.

Inspirational

Where inspiring thoughts and treasured life lessons are learned and shared.

Places to Visit

From Hong Kong to Bali, from Universal Studios Singapore to farmstays and beaches in Perth, we share photos, info and tips with you!

Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids

How many different things can we do with our little ones at home and outside? Too many.

Photography

Where precious daily moments are captured and seen through the lens. Sharing with you tips, iphone apps, and ideas too.

Home » Daily, Food & Health

My interview with a Nutritionist : Healthy breakfast for kids

1 April 20098 Comments

When I was away in Perth recently, I got an email inviting me to interview Cereal Partners Worldwide’s Nutrition Manager based in Sydney, Nilani Sritharan, who’ll be in Singapore for two days as a speaker for a symposium with healthcare professionals, and share it on my site.

[Cereal Partners Worldwide is a joint venture between Nestlé and American food giant General Mills]

Nilani’s touring around the region too to share her expertise on how and why healthy breakfast is important, especially for kids.

Being a parent of two myself, I’d sure want to know more about what’s nutritious for kids. And I’m sure lots of other parents would love to find out about it too.

I checked the calendar, and hey, I’d be back in Singapore just in time for the interview.

And so I said yes. I interviewed Nilani, and had a nice chat with the lovely ladies from the PR agency and Nestlé.

And, here’re some of my questions :

Leonny : We’ve always heard about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Can you share with me some of the reasons?

Nilani : When kids (us included) start their day with a balanced breakfast, they can concentrate better at school. They’re more alert and it prevents them from snacking. And if for example, they have whole grain cereals for breakfast, the fibre content combined with energy from complex carbohydrates also keeps the child full for a longer time.

Leonny : You mentioned ‘whole grains’. What is it really all about?

Nilani : Whole grains consist of 3 parts, a fibre-rich outer layer, a nutrient-packed inner area and a central starchy part (which contains energy, carbohydrates and some B vitamins).

A whole grain (eg. corn, wheat, rice, oats) has all 3 parts intact, while a refined grain (eg. white rice) has had the outer and inner part removed during processing. This is why whole-grains are packed with more vitamins, minerals and fibre.

A whole grain diet for breakfast helps provide kids (and adults) the energy to support their mental and physical activities throughout the day.

Leonny :  So what do you think should be included in a ‘healthy breakfast’?

Nilani : It should contain some complex carbohydrates for energy (eg. bread, cereals, rice), dairy foods rich in calcium (for healthier bones and teeth), fruits, and a drink to keep kids hydrated and alert. Children get the nutrients they’re supposed to get in their breakfast, and if they skip breakfast, they won’t make up for those nutrients later during the day.

Leonny : Since my daughter started nursery last year, she never misses her breakfast (mostly because her class starts at 11.30am and we have enough time for breakfast). The problem is, many parents feel they’re too busy to prepare a wholesome breakfast for the kids (especially if their kids start school early in the morning). What’s your advice?

Nilani : Busy parents can consider going for fruits and whole grain breakfast cereals served with milk. It’s relatively fast to prepare and it’s nutritious for the kids.

Leonny:  Some people are afraid of putting on weight if they have some heavy breakfast. What’s your view?

Nilani : When you skip breakfast you’ll make up for it throughout the rest of the day. You’ll most likely eat more at lunch, suppertime and in between. Everyone should go for a balanced three or four meals a day.

It all comes down to how much calories you get and how much calories you burn. What you have throughout the day is more important than ‘when’ you’re having it.

Leonny : How about kids who are not too interested in eating fruits, vegetables or whole grains?

Nilani : When parents enjoy it, the kids are likely to follow. And according to research, you just need to have them available, and after a while the kids will most likely give it a try. Have cut fruits available, serve unsalted popcorn, etc. Involve kids in food preparation (eg. let them wash the vegetables)

Leonny : Not many families naturally incorporate whole grains in their diet. When I’m in a supermarket for example, I’d automatically grab a loaf of white bread. What are some of the things we can do to start getting more whole grains in our daily diet?

Nilani : It’s all about changing your habit. You can try :

a. Swapping white rice for brown rice (start by mixing white rice with brown rice)
b. Switching to whole meal noodles
c. Going for whole meal bread
d. Starting the day with whole grain breakfast cereal

Nestle Breakfast Cereals now come with the ‘Whole Grain Seal’ (the big tick at the top right of the box) which makes it easier for parents to spot which ones are whole grains.

Nilani and I continued on chatting with the rest of the ladies about random stuff after the interview. It was all nice and good.

And after the interview was over, I did think about my own family’s diet and how I should start introducing more whole grains too.

We all like Honey Stars, so getting Nestle’s new whole grain Honey Stars is an easy decision!

But when it comes to bread and rice, I admit I’ve always been a ‘white bread’ and a ‘white rice’ person, so for me to start going for grain, I know it’d need to be a conscious effort from me.

To occasionally choose a loaf of wholemeal bread. To cook brown rice once in a while for a change.

Because regardless of what I personally like and dislike, I do feel that when mommies start believing in the goodness of grains, so will the rest of the family.

8 Comments »

  • Leonny says:

    Fiona :

    Hi there … thanks for the compliments :) too kind :)

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Ling2 :

    hehe … i too agree, … somehow I’m still not used to the ‘taste’ of wholemeal bread or brown rice too :)

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Siska :

    Hi hi … !! Yup we LOVED our Perth trip, but the funny thing is, we’re happy to be back in Spore too :)

    I know some people who prefer eating wholemeal over white bread too … I guess they’re used to the taste, and it IS healthier. Oh well .. I guess for people like us, we need to get ourselves ‘used to it’ more :)

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Sandra :

    Hey your little guy IS an easy kid, isn’t he? :) I tell myself I need to alternate between wholemeal and white bread too now. And it’s wholemeal bread’s turn haha … and the loaf is now in my kitchen!

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    kkf :

    You’re welcome … :)

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Cakey :

    Not too sure about the details .. but I guess the info is all written at the side of the box ?

    ……………………………………………………………………………….

    Lisna :

    heheh … mgk for a start, lu bisa cari2 tau via online photoshop tutorial ? Pasti ada byk out there yang ajarin step by step .. yang di buat oleh better qualified people than me :)

  • Lisna says:

    Hi Leony, org2 mah comment ttg healthy breakfast, tapi gua malah mau tanya ttg fotonya nih..Gua suka foto hitam putih begitu tapi cereal box nya bisa berwarna..ajarin dong cara editnya di fotoshop..Thx..

  • cakey says:

    hi im quite concerned abt the ingredients/preservatives used in the breakfast cereal. do u know abt it?

  • kkf says:

    thanks for sharing. great idea learnt, let my boy be involved in preparation of vegetables, and fruits and hopefully he will eat them! ha!

  • Sandra says:

    Hmm… i alternate between the whole meal breads & white ones – just to give variety – but i must say i’m happy that my little guy is easy to feed – except for not liking mushrooms ;p
    At the moment we still have time in the mornings for breakfast, but not sure what will happen when he starts going to kindy.

  • siska says:

    udah lama cuma smpt baca blog lu,tp ga smpt komentar. 1st of all, welcome back! Walaupun lu org had such a great time in perth, i’m sure there’s no place like home. Gw tuh jg white bread&white rice person. gw prnh coba mkn wholemeal bread&brown rice, rasanya spt dedak. Susah nelennya. Sampe bingung, hah? Ada tah org yg mo mkn ginian? Ternyata ada,haha. Adek gw tuh malah sukanya wholemeal brd, ga suka yg white. Tp yah, gw gantiin dg cereal&weetbix =)

  • Ling2 says:

    I was aware of these facts quite some time ago, but still struggling to switch to wholemeal bread or brown rice. they don’t seem ‘as tasty’ as the white bread & rice.
    *sigh*
    so hard to do..

  • fiona tay says:

    Leonny, you’re so pretty! and i love the kids pics. very nicely edited! Wonderful!

    *thumbs up*

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

CommentLuv badge