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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Feb;50(2):120-8. doi: 10.1080/10408390903467563.

Dietary choices for breakfast in children and adolescents.

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Department of Maternal and Pediatric Sciences, Fondazione IRCCS Ca Granda-Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy.


Breakfast represents a healthy habit and associations with positive health outcomes have been widely described. Breakfast should be consistent with local and family dietary traditions. The proportion of breakfast skippers in the pediatric and adolescent diet range 10-30% throughout the world. Policies and interventions supportive of breakfast consumption are therefore encouraged. According to neurobehavioral data, the good example of parents and access to a variety of palatable and pleasant breakfast foods should drive children to become able to self-select breakfast models with balanced composition, while respecting recommended dietary allowances. A balanced macronutrient composition, the proposition of a variety of models leading to a total energy density preferably within lower ranges (< 1-1.5), as well as glycemic indices in the lower range for the same food class, could emphasize the positive short- and long- term health outcomes now attributable to breakfast.

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