Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
A survey of parents* revealed that four out of 10 children missed breakfast at least once a week, with parents often claiming that their children “didn’t have time” to eat before school.

Accredited Practising Dietitian Glenn Cardwell says, “Children need to break the overnight fast and fuel the brain and muscles to be able to think and perform at their best at school.

“At the very least, children should have a banana before heading off to school. The beauty of the banana is that it takes next to no time to eat because it is easy to peel, easy to chew, inexpensive and easy to swallow. The specific benefit is that the banana provides glucose and essential nutrients to fuel the brain and muscles.

“Encouraging children to eat a banana each morning means they get energy, vitamins B6, C and folate, fibre and potassium, so there is no excuse to miss breakfast any day,’ he says.

Cardwell says, “School children need energy throughout the day to stay alert, play and perform at their peak and the Australian banana industry is reminding parents to include a banana in lunch boxes to help their children through the school day as brain-food and an energy booster.

“To compound the problem, children don’t refuel their energy stores during the day, particularly mid-morning and mid-afternoon when their reserves are depleted.

“A third of primary students and three quarters of secondary students don’t eat enough fruit each day, according to a government 2008 Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey.

“Bananas are the natural healthy energy snack that all Australians, regardless of age, should consider at breakfast time or to carry them through the day,” he says.

Cardwell says, “If breakfast time is limited or a wholesome meal difficult to prepare for a student, a banana or a banana smoothie is a simple and nutrition-packed way to kick-start the day. Mid-morning or mid-afternoon, a banana can provide the fuel to recharge energy stores to make it to the next meal.

“But above all, a banana is one of the best snack foods available. Bananas are high in natural sugars and, despite the myths, are fat free,” he says.

“By missing breakfast, children are likely to consume more during the day meaning they are more prone to being obese and developing Type 2 diabetes and heart conditions later in life. Children who eat breakfast generally have a better memory, better mood, fewer flu and cold issues and eat less fat, all important for good schoolwork and better health,” Cardwell says


Media enquiries:
Glenn Cardwell
Accredited Practising Dietitian, Nutrition Impact Pty Ltd
Tel: (08) 9367 3556 | Mobile: 0413 806 406 |email: [email protected]
Geoff Drucker Mobile 0419 817 827

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Horticulture Australia Limited - Australian Bananas

Bananas are Australia’s No. 1 selling fruit, principally grown in the tropics of North Queensland. Other banana growing areas are in sub-tropical Northern NSW, Southern Queensland and Carnarvon in Western Australia. Small growing areas are also found near Darwin in the Northern Territory, and around Kununurra in Western Australia.

The banana industry is one of the largest fruit growing industries in Australia and an important contributor to the economies of rural communities in banana growing areas. Bananas are among Australia’s top 10 supermarket lines.

On average 28 million bananas are consumed each week, which represents 13 kg per person a year, the equivalent of 60-70 bananas per person.
Geoff Drucker
P: 0419 817 827


healthy snacks, kids snacks, back to school, school lunches



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