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Each stage of life demands a different set of nutritional requirements. And it is especially important early in life, where what a child eats and drinks has bearing for the rest of his or her lifetime. What are some of these important nutrients you should provide with breakfast?

A good start to the day

Peak bone mass The term refers to the maximum amount of bone density that a person can achieve during his or her lifetime, and has significant impact on the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

What does peak bone mass depend upon? Calcium. Getting the required calcium calls for milk in large quantities, even after the age of two. But milk isn’t only for babies, the requirement for calcium will continue for the rest of your child’s lifetime.

Include milk into your pre-schooler’s breakfast to help him grow up tall and strong.

Peak brain development

Reading, vocabulary development, the ability to hold conversations –all these and more undergo a growth spurt when your child is growing up to about six years of age. What are some nutrients thought to be required for optimal brain development?

Vitamin B12, which is found only in food of animal origin, is abundantly present in milk and other dairy products. At levels only slightly lower than normal, a range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and poor memory may be experienced.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Arachidonic Acid (AA, or ARA) are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both are especially abundant in fish oils, and have been found to be important for the development of the nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life and beyond.

Lastly, probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in the intestines, and are present in yoghurt and cultured milk drinks. Studies have shown that the presence of probiotics in the gut help a child’s immune system fight off infections and allergies.

A good start to life

All these are not easily found in the foods we eat, much less those that children consume. However, many breakfast cereals are fortified with Vitamin B12 and essential fatty acids, and cultured milks and yoghurts provide probiotics as well. A variation of these breakfast foods will make your child ready to take on every day - like a champion. LWB

Shape up with less sugar | Raising a bilingual child | Born to perform! | The breakfasts of champions | Taming Tiny Terrors!

 
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