Boost Your Child’s Brain Power With Eggs
Now that children are back at school, they need a breakfast that is packed with nutrients to sustain them during the day, and one that is quick and easy to eat. This combined with healthy snacks and a nutritious lunch will help ensure that children will have a better chance to do well at school.
Breakfast is essential to ensure children have an adequate nutritional intake to give them fuel for the day at school. A multitude of studies have found that breakfast plays a significant influenceon how a child enjoys and progresses at school:
- In a study of 656 schoolchildren, those who ate breakfast regularly had better motor function skills and lower BMIs than children who skipped breakfast.
- Additional research revealed hormonal changes stimulated by eating breakfast were associated with better mental performance compared to no breakfast.
- School breakfast also improved daily nutrient intake, which was associated with better academic performance and psychosocial functioning in another study.
- A Harvard School of Public Health report documented that children who eat breakfast are sick less often and have fewer absences and discipline problems.
Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available and they are ideal as part of breakfast because they are quick and easy to prepare and eat. Eggs are an excellent source of choline² which is essential for healthy brain development and function and eating eggs for breakfast keeps children and adults feeling fuller for longer¹. This helps to stay more alert and cuts down on the need for snacks that are high in sugar.
Eggs take just a couple of minutes to cook in the morning and children can eat them very easily and quickly. Boiled or scrambled eggs with toast will give your child a great start to the school day and there are dozens of different ways to cook an egg that will vary the taste and provide variety. Get cracking and try some of the suggestions below:
Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs cooked. After 3 minutes they will be really soft and after 5 minutes both the white and the yolk will be set.
Everyone has their favourite scrambled egg dish. They are delicious scrambled on their own with some seasoning or you can include chopped crispy bacon, chives, cheese, fresh herbs, tomatoes, smoked salmon or a host of other ingredients. To make plain scrambled eggs just whisk the eggs with a little milk (optional) and some salt and pepper, melt a little butter on a hot pan, add the eggs and scramble over a gentle heat until cooked to your liking.
Bring a large pan of water to simmer. Season the water with salt and a dash of vinegar. Break the eggs, one at a time, onto a saucer then slide gently into the water. Cover the pan and continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.
French Toast To make French toast for four.
Whisk four eggs with 125ml of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional). Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a gentle heat. Cut four slices of good quality bread (brioche is ideal) into fingers or squares. Saturate the bread in the egg mixture and fry until golden brown on each side. Once cooked, dust each slice with a little icing sugar or cinnamon and serve on its own or with fruit such as berries, bananas or any other favourite fruit. French toast is also delicious with maple syrup.
1. * Vander Wal JS et al. 2005. Short-Term Effect of Eggs on Satiety in Overweight and Obese Subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 24(6):510-515
2. * Steven Zeisel et al 2010 Choline an Essential Nutrient for Humans 2010 The FASEB Journal 5: 2093–209
3. *Steven Zeisel et al 2009 “Choline: an essential nutrient for public health”. Nutrition Reviews 67: 615–23