This Grandma’s Case For a Breakfast Feast Grandchildren Would Want For Breakfast, Part I

22BREAKFAST-master768In order to understand this Grandma’s recommendation that grandchildren should be fed a breakfast feast grandchildren would want for breakfast, I must review separate new studies that appeared in the news this week, both which relate to obesity, one on the new American Pediatric Association protocols because of effects of high blood pressure on children who are more obese than in previous times, and one on how adults can avoid obesity.

This week, the number one most popular New York Times article is “The Case For a Breakfast Feast,” August 21, 2017, by Roni Caryn Rabin.  The quick takeaway is the best way to lose weight is to:

“Make breakfast your largest meal of the day, and eat dinner as your lightest meal of the day.”

Or remember the old proverb:

Eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

These quotes are by Dr. Hana Kahleova, one of the authors of the study reported on in Ms. Rabin’s article, published in the Journal of Nutrition in July, 2017.

Read the entire New York Times article.

Read the July 12, 2017 study, “Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2.”

Here is the conclusion of the study:

“Our results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain. Eating breakfast and lunch 5-6 hours apart and making the overnight fast last 18-19 hours may be a useful practical strategy.”

As I read this, I also was distressed to hear news reports that children are in danger of high blood pressure because of childhood obesity.  August 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated 2004 guidelines for screening of children and teenagers.  Read the study here:

The summary of the study, easier to read, is “AAP issues new pediatric hypertension clinical practice guideline,” giving “the changes in new pediatric hypertension guidelines that can help pediatricians identify and address this generally asymptomatic and often-unrecognized chronic disease,”

It sets forth why we should be concerned about high blood pressure in children and teenagers:

“Pediatric hypertension, occurring in 2%–5% of all pediatric patients, is one of the top five chronic diseases in children and adolescents. The diagnosis is missed in up to 75% of pediatric patients in primary care settings, and appropriate medication initiation occurs much less frequently than is indicated, according to current guidelines.”

According to Dr. Joseph Flynn, who co-chaired the subcommittee that developed the recommendations, “High blood pressure levels tend to carry into adulthood, raising the risks for cardiovascular disease and other problems. By catching the condition early, we are able to work with the family to manage it, whether that’s through lifestyle changes, medication, or a combination of treatments. . . .If left untreated, uncontrolled high blood pressure can have devastating effects on the body, including damage to the heart, kidneys, and brain.”

Now, back to the study reported on in the New York Times, where Ms. Rabin tells us WHY we should “front-load our calories early in the day:”  It sounds similar to what the American Pediatrics Association is also concerned about:

“This year, the American Heart Association endorsed the principle that the timing of meals may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. . . .  Having the largest meal in the morning appears to have advantages for weight control compared with having a large meal in the evening, she said, since the digestive process and the action of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that the body uses to process the sugars in carbohydrates and store glucose, appear to be at their peak performance early in the day. As a result, “our body can use the nutrients as a source of energy the easiest,” Dr. Kahleova said. A person eating the identical meal at different times of day might deposit more fat after an evening meal than a morning meal, she said.”

Why can’t we do the same for children as is recommended for adults?

School is starting again, and so again, the fight to get children to eat breakfast before school.  We know that a good breakfast is important to the learning process.  Now, let’s think GREAT breakfast – – – from a grandchild’s perspective!

One of the first “Grandma Lessons” that I learned was to feed my grandchildren pizza for breakfast, because that would make them happy and is part of being a spoiling grandma. The separate new studies that came about this week, both which relate to obesity, one on the effects of high blood pressure on children, and one on how adults can avoid obesity, make this Grandma’s case for a breakfast feast grandchildren would want for breakfast.  Forget any designation of a food as being a breakfast food or a dinner food.  Forget the calories that the grandchild might consume for breakfast.

Let them eat what they love most for breakfast.  Reverse dinner and breakfast.  Give grandchildren what they crave most for breakfast.* They will burn it off during the day.

Feed them chicken fingers and french fries, pizza, or pasta and meatballs, for breakfast with a smoothie or a frozen yogurt breakfast bar, and scrambled eggs and fruit for dinner!

The studies above show that this is a win-win for everyone!

When this Grandma used another “Grandma Lesson” of feeding the grandchildren dessert first, a few Dibs (chocolate covered ice cream drops), before a meal, and their parents saw that the grandchildren then ate their entire meal, the parents wanted to use it too.  I told them that this was a grandma tip and they could not.  It is best used for a meal that the grandchildren may not be so excited about.  Not having to “leave room” for dessert and having impetus to taste and eat some new foods, it is a dream tip.

I now reverse my previous no.  They may feed our grandchildren pizza for breakfast and dessert first.  Please pass this post along to the parents of our grandchildren.  They may take our “Grandma Lessons” tips for the health of our grandchildren with






P.S. Part II has recipes for frozen yogurt breakfast bars and smoothies as breakfast dessert, or the light dinner with some soup and a half grilled cheese sandwich or eggs.


* Please read this Grandma’s previous post in 2015 on weight loss tips, one of which will look familiar to the tips in the new study: “Should You Listen to Grandma or Dr. Oz and Other Experts for Weight Loss Ideas that Work for Post Menopausal Women in 2015″

*Please read this Grandma’s post on feeding toddlers and second children, “The Difference Between First and Second Born Children and Food Rules for Toddlers”

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