Breakfast of Champions: Healthy Nutrition - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Breakfast of Champions: Healthy Nutrition

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

In the spirit of the Olympic games underway in Sochi, we're featuring a series geared towards being a champion here at home.  The first installment of our CHAMPION series explores the importance of a healthy breakfast to your child's day.

Studies show that children who eat a healthy breakfast are better behaved, do better in some subjects like math and reading, and are absent and tardy less often. 

Eight year old Taylor Kreimeier loves breakfast time.  For her and dad Axel, breakfast time is their daddy-daughter time.

"When I was a kid my mom always sat with me for breakfast and we always cherished that time.  So, I didn't want to miss that time when she grows up," said Axel Kreimeier, Taylor's dad.

While quality time has always been important, nutrition wasn't top of mind.  That's until last year, when Taylor's doctor told her she needed to make some changes.

Taylor said, "He told me I had high cholesterol, so we went to see a nutritionist and she told me how to eat right"

Sitting down to breakfast is something Jackson Hospital Dietitian Rachel Laughlin encourages.

"It's optimal to take 15-20 minutes, and everyone have breakfast together, added Rachel.  "But it's busy in the mornings.  We are hustling and bustling.  Breakfast is very important though.   It will make a huge difference in their day, and potentially their health."

In addition to the obvious benefits of healthy eating, it can also mentally prepare a child for better comprehension, concentration, and strength.

"There is research out there and we just know anecdotally that if kids don't eat breakfast, we will see a change in their behavior and their ability to take in information," said Laughlin.

As a dietitian, she says people feel boxed in when it comes to breakfast.  But, she says breakfast doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be a sit down meal, and it doesn't even have to be what you'd consider typical breakfast foods for it to make a big impact.

"Breakfast can be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cheese and crackers, yogurt, or a trail mix that you make the night before.  It can even be something that you take on the run," added Laughlin.

Back in the Kreimeier household, it's a lesson that Taylor already knows, thanks to her nutritionist.

"She showed her how to exchange healthy foods for the bad ones, and what to choose when she goes out to eat," said dad Axel.  

It's helping her get off to a good start for her school day and her future.  

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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