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Sinclair Cares: 'Breakfast is crucial, especially for students'

Between 8 percent and 12 percent of grade-school age children don't eat breakfast, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and as many as 30 percent of adolescents skip it. (SBG)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Breakfast has long been called the "most important meal of the day."

However, between 8 percent and 12 percent of grade-school age children don't eat breakfast, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and as many as 30 percent of adolescents skip it.

Jessica Buschmann with Nationwide Children's Hospital suggested ways to get your kids to eat breakfast - and also eat more healthy options.

"Breakfast is crucial, especially for students, because it gets their brains charged up and ready to learn in the morning and also gets them energy to fuel throughout their day," Buschmann says.

She suggested limiting sugary cereals, and she also said parents should check amount of "added sugar" on the nutrition facts labels for other foods as well.

Added sugars include: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose sweetener, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, pancake syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, trehalose, and turbinado sugar, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The Centers for Disease Control says, Americans consume too much added sugar, which can lead to health problems, including weight gain, obscenity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Bushmann says the added sugar in some yogurts, flavored oatmeal and milks, along with some breakfast bars may surprise you.

"We have an idea that granola bars are healthy for us," Buschmann says, "If it’s covered in chocolate...that can be the same as a candy bar."

She recommends families plan ahead, and make sure breakfast meals incorporate at least three food groups.

"Don’t talk about it that morning. Do it over weekend or another time," Buschmann said. "Ask: what are three to five things you can always eat in the morning as far as meals?"

Buschmann provided the following quick breakfast ideas:

  • Avocado toast topped with an egg or two
  • Egg muffin cups mad with breakfast meat, egg, and veggies
  • Breakfast burrito with meat, egg, veggies, and/or avocado
  • Bowl of whole grain cereal with milk and a piece of fruit
  • Apple with peanut butter and a dry bag of cereal
  • Piece of fruit, cheese stick, and hard-boiled egg

Nationwide Children's Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition recommends eating breakfast within two hours of waking and use measuring cups to help with cereal portion control.

The FDA has approved a new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods, which the agency says is based on scientific data related to diet and chronic diseases , including obesity and heart disease.

"The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices," FDA says.

Changes include posting details about "added sugars,” both in grams and as percent Daily Value.

However, it could be years before consumers see the change.

Large food companies have until 2020 to comply, while smaller companies have until 2021, according to the FDA.

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