Up Your Healthy Breakfast IQ

Breakfast food is brain food, but what you talk about at the breakfast table can be just as integral to your kids’ intelligence. These little lessons are perfect starters for pointing kids in the right direction toward healthy food habits for life.

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6Reading nutrition labels

Once children understand where packaged food comes from, help them read nutrition labels so that they understand what is actually in them. Teach them about common additives, suggested serving sizes and why they should always look closely at the first three ingredients.

7The benefits of composting

It can be hard for children to finish all of their breakfasts, so teach them about composting and show them the kinds of foods they can add to a compost pile. Apple cores, banana peels, toast, eggshells, oatmeal and soggy cereals are all great candidates.

8Recycling food packaging

A lot of modern breakfast foods come pre-packaged, so breakfast can be a great time to advise children on what can and cannot be recycled. Plastic containers, cardboard boxes, glass and mixed materials are all likely candidates. Show kids how to read recycling symbols and where to put those items that qualify.

9Understanding certification symbols

Today's food packaging is awash in symbols standing for various certifications. Help your children decipher what USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Certified Naturally Grown, Certified Vegan and more mean -- and why they are important.

10Presentation and plate appeal

More than anyone, kids are known to turn their noses up if something doesn't look right. Just think of all of the "I don't eat green!" and "I don't like things touching!" proclamations that are made at breakfast tables each morning. Talk to your kids about presentation and plate appeal, and agree on why the way food looks is important, but not as important as how it tastes or what it contains.

More healthy food ideas for kids

How to prepare healthy snacks for your kids

Join SheKnows' Shay Pausa as she goes down to the pantry to get easy tips from nutritionist Michelle Dudasche on preparing healthy snacks for your kids.

More breakfast ideas for families:

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Tags: brain food family nutrition school breakfast

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Comments on "10 Healthy lessons for the breakfast table"

Kelly May 30, 2012 | 11:28 AM

I think that the goal of this advice is positive, but focusing too much on portion sizes is not healthy either - this can lead to distorted eating patterns later in life. A better focus would be on creating a healthy plate (i.e. half fruits and vegetables) and listening to your hunger cues, rather then measuring out what one cup looks like.

Hilary August 15, 2010 | 7:11 AM

Great things to keep in mind.

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