Trick your kid into eating a nourishing breakfast

ONE of the issues moms - or dads, for that matter - face when they send their kids back to school is preparing breakfast.

They are concerned because they have to prepare healthy and nutritious breakfasts.

With the school season back on the roll, this can be quite a challenge, especially with parents' busy schedules and picky youngsters.

It's well-recorded that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives kids the nutrients they need to succeed in school.

After a good night's sleep kids wake up hungry and need to be refueled to start their day.

Leo Green, a nutritionist at Frere Hospital, says a healthy breakfast helps kids have the energy they need to stay focused so that they can learn.

"When kids are hungry they have a hard time learning and completing tasks because they are focused on eating. But with busy schedules it can be hard to sit down, eat breakfast and get out of the house on time."

To give your kids a nutritious breakfast, follow these tips compiled by Readers Digest .

l Low-fat vanilla or fruity yoghurt with unsweetened, whole grain cereal and a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple or banana.

l An unsweetened whole-grain breakfast bar, a fresh fruit and toned or low-fat milk.

l Take unsweetened, whole-wheat toaster waffles and top them with low-fat vanilla or fruit-flavoured yoghurt and unsweetened apple sauce, jam or natural peanut butter.

l Take half a cup of oatmeal and top it with raisins. Serve with half a cup of milk and a slice of whole-wheat toast, topped with fruit jam.

l Serve brown rice cakes with peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese on top. Slices of fresh strawberries or banana can also be used for the topping, along with butter.

l Smoothies are a healthy breakfast for children. Blend low-fat vanilla or fruit-flavoured yoghurt with fresh or frozen fruit (unsweetened). Add a little low-fat milk or fruit juice, depending on the flavour and consistency of the smoothie.

l Top half toasted whole-wheat bagel with finely shredded cheese. Serve with a hard boiled egg and half a cup of orange juice.

l Top half a cup cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon of toasted wheat germ. Serve with half a cup vegetable juice and a few sliced grapes.

Weekend breakfast ideas

Weekends mean more time for preparing breakfast. Make grain pancakes or waffles. On special occasions, food colouring can be added or else you can add fruits in an innovative fashion on the pancakes.

Make a fruit face by using two banana slices for eyes, striped strawberry for nose and an apple slice for the mouth. Your kid will simply love it and eat it all up.