But what is a healthy breakfast?
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for you and your children. A nutritious breakfast helps you fulfil your vitamin and mineral needs, stimulates your brain and body and helps to stop the ‘snacking’ later in the day.
Surprisingly, some of the most popular breakfast choices can potentially damage your smile.
A survey conducted for Public Health England (PHE) found that the majority of parents (84%) considered their child’s breakfast as healthy, but that was not the case. Even the ‘healthier’ breakfasts contained the equivalent of 3 or more cubes of sugar. This is an alarming fact, taking into account the worrying increase of obesity amongst kids and adolescents in England. According to Public Health England (PHE), children consume half the daily recommended sugar intake before the morning school bell rings. Of course, the high sugar intake will not only affect only the kids’ weight but also their oral health.
The link between frequent consumption of free sugars and tooth decay is well known. However, we do not typically eat sweets for breakfast; yet we choose popular cereals, drinks and spreads, which are full of sugar. Some of these sugars are hidden! Away from the breakfast table children and adults are also consuming too much sugar, saturated fat and salt in items such as confectionery, biscuits, muffins, pastries and soft drinks. These all contribute to an unhealthy diet.
Change4Life campaign has been launched by PHE to inspire a broad coalition of people, including the NHS, local authorities, businesses, charities, schools, families, community leaders – in fact anyone working with families or individuals – to all play a part in improving the nation’s health and well-being by encouraging everyone to eat well, move more and live longer.
The 10 top-tips for Healthy Breakfast Choices and Smart Swaps for Healthy Alternatives are:
Some food labels have traffic light coloured labels to show the sugar content. Choose more greens and ambers, and fewer reds.
• Red means this food is HIGH in sugar. Think about how often you choose it and how much of it you eat.
• Amber means this food has a MEDIUM amount of sugar. This makes it an OK choice, although going for green is even better.
• Green means it’s LOW in sugar, which makes it a healthier choice.
You can still tell if products are high or low in sugar by looking at the amount per 100g/ml on the nutrition information panel.
High sugar: 22.5g or more per 100g
Low sugar: 5.0g or less per 100g
High sugar: 11.25g or more per 100ml
Low sugar: 2.5g or less per 100ml
The Change4Life campaign has produced a simple to use app ‘The Be Food Smart App’. Scan barcodes using the app to find out how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is in food and drink. It is great fun for kids too!
Too much sugar can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see. This fat around vital organs can cause weight gain and serious diseases in the future like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Having too much sugar can also cause tooth decay. At Dee Shapland Dental we offer individualised sessions for yourself and your kids with our Oral Health Educator, who can analyse your dietary habits and give you personalised advise on how you can reduce your risk of getting tooth decay and achieve a healthy balanced diet.
This Blog has been written by Anastasios Plessas, Associate Dentist
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