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No matter how sleepy you or your child feels in the morning or rushes to pack for offi ce or school, you mustmake sure that you never miss out on breakfast. As the name indicates, breakfast means “breaking theovernight fast”. And there is a very good reason why it is considered the most important meal of the day bydoctors, nutritionists and fi tness enthusiasts. Breakfast kickstarts your metabolic engine and replenishesthe reservoir of nutrients to support a busy and demanding day ahead. It also supplies essential nutrientsthat boost your immune system and helps fi ght common diseases. So, the breakfast you enjoy or serveneeds to pack a punch, both in terms of taste and nutrition, especially if you or your child is picky aboutfood. To know more about why breakfast is so vital and what you can prepare easily on a daily basis, readon.

Why say yes to breakfast?

One of the most important reasons why both adults and children should eat breakfast is because itreplenishes the body’s glucose stores. Through the night, the glucose store in the liver, which basicallymaintains your blood glucose at a stable level, gets used up. It is important to ensure that you replenish it sothat you can keep going and maintain an energetic schedule throughout the day. Especially, children need acontinuous supply of energy to stay active and alert during school hours. For instance, providing childrenwith healthy carbohydrates keeps their brains active, so that they can pay attention, remember what theystudy and feel good throughout the day.
The second important reason why you should say yes to breakfast is to stock up on micronutrients such asvitamins and minerals. These support your immune system. Remember that some of the vitamins are watersoluble and they are not stored in the body. This means that you have to provide your body with thesenutrients

However, in case of a couple of minerals such as calcium and iron, one needs to make a conscious effort toinclude them in the diet.
Note that these vitamins and minerals are involved in various physiological functions of the body. Forexample, vitamin D and C, ribofl avin, copper, zinc, and selenium are all involved in supporting the body’simmune system. Any defi ciencies in any of these can result in compromised immunity and increase yoursusceptibility to infections.
Breakfast is the best time to ensure that both grownups and kids meet a major portion of their micronutrientrequirements before they step out for work or school. Nevertheless, children tend to miss breakfast. It isestimated that about 50% of schoolchildren in India usually skip breakfast, mostly due to waking up late.This deprives them of vital nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fi bre and micronutrients.

How to ensure a breakfast packed with nutrients that support immunity?

Often, busy parents lack the time or energy to prepare a breakfast that is healthy and tasty. However, a littleplanning, imagination and creativity can go a long way in making even the fussiest eater happy at breakfast.Here are some food ideas that you can include at the breakfast table to supply enough micronutrients forbetter immunity:

  • A glass of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice for that vitamin C boost.
  • Couple of spinach idlis (spinach puree added to idli batter) to fulfi l the needs of iron and probiotics, for gutimmunity.
  • A glass of oats and milk porridge for meeting ribofl avin, calcium, fi bre and complex carbohydratesrequirements. A spoon of jaggery powder can fortify the porridge with iron, magnesium and manganesecontent.
  • A simple boiled egg provides selenium, an important mineral for the immune system.
  • A laddoo or energy bar made up of nuts, seeds and dates is nutrient-dense and contains omega 3, zinc

Wild rice isn’t really rice at all – it’s the seed of an aquatic grass originally grown by Native American tribes. It has a strong flavour and is quite expensive so it’s usually mixed with other types of rice.