Take advantage of breakfast as a key family moment

(BPT) – According to a recent survey commissioned by General Mills’ Big G cereals, 70% of parents say the biggest morning challenge is to sit down and have breakfast as a family.[1] However, with the pandemic shaking up the usual morning routines, 73% of parents with school-aged children now report they have been able to spend more time together as a family before starting their work or school day. In fact, the survey indicates eating breakfast as a family has become less challenging (70% before pandemic vs. 48% during pandemic).

During these challenging times it is important to remember what matters most, and even a simple bowl of delicious cereal can make the morning a win.

When looking for an affordable quick and nutritious breakfast option for your family, look no further than the cereal box in your pantry! Here are a few recommendations for how you can prioritize family mealtime as we head into the new school year.

Breakfast counts as a family meal

The benefits of families eating meals together are well documented and can promote sensible eating habits and positive family dynamics, as well as improved nutritional health.[2],[3] But it doesn’t have to be an elaborate dinner to count. With the change of pace families are making the most of quality breakfast time with 53% of parents using breakfast time to discuss what’s going on in the world. Make the commitment to have at least one meal each day with your family at the kitchen table, whether that is a bowl of cereal a few mornings a week or your favorite home-cooked meal for dinner.

Choose a breakfast food that parents and kids love

Is there a breakfast that parents and kids both love? If you ask many busy parents, any meal their children will eat and enjoy is a success. So how do you know if the breakfast you are serving your family is nutritious? Parents can focus on foods that provide whole grains and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals.

Cereal is in nearly nine out of 10 American households and is a favorite for families.[4] According to parents surveyed, 55% report that cereal is their kids’ top choice for breakfast. With ready-to-eat cereal as the No. 1 source of whole grain, fiber, folate, iron, zinc, vitamins A and E, and several B vitamins for Americans at breakfast[5], why not start your day with your kids’ favorite? Cereal is a win-win to start the school day.

“When it comes to breakfast, it’s hard to beat all the nutrition packed into one bowl of cereal for about 50 cents on average, with milk,”[6] says Amy Cohn, RD, senior manager of nutrition and external affairs for General Mills cereal division. “Cereal is an ideal breakfast centerpiece that naturally attracts other nutrient-rich foods, like milk and fruit. A cereal breakfast with milk and a banana delivers really good nutrition, while also being accessible and affordable to families nationwide.”

With so much out of our control, committing to family breakfast can help you re-center and connect with your family to start the day – even if it is a quick meal. Remember, family time has no time requirements.

[1] Online survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Americans 18 years of age and older, who are the parent or guardian of at least 1 child aged 5-18 that live in the same household as well as an oversample of 250 Hispanic parents of children the same ages. The survey was fielded by Lucid from June 23-July 5, 2020. The margin of error for the total sample at 95% confidence level is +/- 3%.

[2] Stanford Children’s Health. “Why the Family Meal Is Important.” https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=why-the-family-meal-is-important-1-701

[3] Hammons, Amber J, and Barbara H Fiese. “Is frequency of shared family meals related to the nutritional health of children and adolescents?.” Pediatrics vol. 127,6 (2011): e1565-74. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1440 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3387875/)

[4] Nielsen Homescan Panel, 52 weeks ending April 2020

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2015-2016]

[6] AC Nielsen 2020