(Family Features) We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And while adults need to eat breakfast each day to perform their best, it's even more important for kids. Studies suggest that children who eat a healthy breakfast tend to concentrate in school, behave better and are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight.
Getting children to eat a well-balanced breakfast can be difficult, even for the most creative parents. A recent national survey, conducted on behalf of Chobani Champions by Braun Research, revealed the majority of children ages 2 to 13 are eating breakfast in the home. Parents are more likely to describe their child's breakfast as "easy to prepare" versus "healthy" or "nutritious," according to the same survey.
Here are some easy tips to help turn breakfast into a quick, delicious and nutritious meal:
Have fun. Breakfast doesn't have to be boring. Instead of the same tired piece of toast or bland bowl of cereal day in and day out, try offering a variety of morning meals. Empowering kids with the choice to choose what they eat at breakfast will make them more apt to cooperate, so give them a range of healthy options to pick from. Blueberries or strawberries? Cereal or toast?
The power of protein. A good source of protein is key when it comes to breakfast. Products such as Chobani Champions will help your child fuel-up for the day ahead. The authentically strained Greek yogurt made just for kids is not only nutritious, but delicious - a true win for little ones and parents alike. Chobani Champions is made with only natural ingredients and comes in creamy flavors like Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, Orange Vanilla, VerryBerry and Honey-Nana. Each cup is a good source of protein, vitamin D and the bone-building calcium kids need. They're also naturally gluten-free. Your kids will love digging into this deliciously thick yogurt, and you'll love that they're eating something that's good for them.
Save time, plan ahead. If you regularly skip breakfast in the interest of saving time or getting a few more minutes of sleep, try packing a brown-bag the night before so your kids can eat on the way to school. Fruit ranks at the top of the kid-friendly foods list. Slice up some fresh fruits such as strawberries, bananas and apples that kids can easily eat at home or on the go.
Track your foods. Make a chart to keep track of meals each morning and let your kids fill it in themselves. Have them grade each breakfast on a scale of 1 to 5. This way you can keep track of what they're choosing to eat each day - and which foods they enjoy eating the most.
Get kids involved. Visit the USDA's choosemyplate.gov website with your kids and look at the different food groups. Ask them to choose some of their favorite foods from each group. From those picks, you can create a list of healthy meals together that they'll look forward to eating each morning.
Set up a taste test. Sometimes kids are put off by foods that they're unfamiliar with. Try setting up a tasting for your kids so they can try a variety of foods without the pressure of having to finish an entire portion. Encourage them to talk about what they like best, including taste and texture.
For more information on preparing meals for happy, healthy kids, visit www.chobanichampions.com.