Breakfast for the Brain

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but do you know why? A gnawing hunger, growling stomach and pounding headache can make it hard to focus on learning, but that’s not all...

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More than just a meal

Kids need breakfast every day and they need it more than adults do. Breakfast not only provides fuel to give kids energy for the day, it’s an important part of their growth and development. Growing bodies and developing brains need fuel often and regularly.

Studies have shown breakfast even has an impact on attendance. Children who skip breakfast are late and absent more often than those have a good breakfast to start their day.

A good breakfast can be quick, easy and delicious and as simple
  • Milk over cereal
  • Oatmeal with apple and cinnamon
  • Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and banana
Make breakfast an event for your whole family! Get your kids involved in choosing the foods, preparing breakfast, setting the table or cleaning up.

More Breakfast Benefits

Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but especially for children and teens. A nutritionally complete diet, high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals, can offer your kids the following benefits:

  • Improved concentration in the classroom
  • Improved grades
  • The strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
  • Healthy weight maintenance
Children who eat breakfast perform better mentally and physically, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Take the time to enjoy a family breakfast – Get up a little earlier so that everyone has time to eat breakfast together. It’s a great time to talk about everybody’s plans for the day ahead.

What’s for breakfast?

Choose 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:

  • Bread and grain (i.e., cereal, toast, muffin)
  • Low-fat milk or milk product
  • Fruit or vegetable group (i.e., berries, apples, carrots)

Stock up on breakfast items that you can eat on the go for days when everyone is in a hurry.

  • Fruit (apples, oranges, bananas)
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Whole grain breakfast or granola bars
  • Muffins
Save time and plan ahead. Decide what you are going to have and do any prep work the night before (put out the cereal, cut up some fruit, etc).
Have some fun with breakfast! Consider the following ideas to freshen up your children’s next one:
  • Whole grain waffles, cut into sticks and dipped in unsweetened apple sauce
  • Grilled cheese sandwich with melon slices
  • Whole wheat tortilla rolled up with peanut butter and shredded apple
  • Dry cereal or trail mix stirred into plain yogurt, topped with fruit salad

Canada’s Food Guide

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that children should eat the following number of Food Guide servings per day:
Children ages 2-3 (girls & boys)
  • Vegetables & fruit – 4
  • Grain products – 3
  • Milk & alternatives – 2
  • Meat & alternatives – 1
Children ages 4-8 (girls & boys)
  • Vegetables & fruit – 5
  • Grain products – 4
  • Milk & alternatives – 2
  • Meat & alternatives – 1
Children ages 9-13 (girls & boys)
  • Vegetables & fruit – 6
  • Grain products – 6
  • Milk & alternatives – 3-4
  • Meat & alternatives – 1-2
Teens ages 14-18 (female)
  • Vegetables & fruit – 7
  • Grain products – 6
  • Milk & alternatives – 3-4
  • Meat & alternatives – 2
Teens ages 14-18 (male)
  • Vegetables & fruit – 8
  • Grain products – 7
  • Milk & alternatives – 3-4
  • Meat & alternatives – 3
Examples of serving sizes
  • 1 serving =          125 mL (½ cup) vegetable, fruit or 100% juice
1 slice (35 g) bread or ½ bagel (45 g)
125 mL (½ cup) cooked rice, pasta, or couscous
      250 mL (1 cup) milk or fortified soy beverage
50 g (1 ½ oz.) cheese
75 g (2 ½ oz.)/125 mL (½ cup) cooked fish, shellfish, poultry or lean meat

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is always available to talk about your family’s nutritional needs... Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.

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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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