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What do Olympic champions eat for breakfast?

Yahoo Lifestyle
14 March 2012

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but sometimes kids don’t seem to share that sentiment.

If you have trouble getting your kids to eat healthily in the mornings, take use these Olympic athletes as encouragement. Point out that they win medals and break records after having a proper breakfast.

Take inspiration from their menu choices too, and set your kids up for the day with a breakfast fit for a champion.

Jessica Ennis - heptathlete

Breakfast: Bran flakes, orange juice, organic flapjack, piece of fruit.

As a heptathlete, Jessica Ennis has to take part in a series of different events in a short space of time, so she needs a breakfast that will provide her with a high amount of energy. To make this meal kid-friendly, serve a bowl of bran flakes with chopped fruit on top to add some sweetness, and a glass of pure orange juice. Bran flakes are high in fibre, which makes for a filling breakfast and will help your kids stay full for longer. They are also a great source of iron; a mineral that will give children energy throughout the day. The vitamin C in orange juice will help their bodies absorb the iron more efficiently, but make sure you steer clear of the processed stuff, as it is often packed with added sugar.

Tom Daley - diver

Breakfast: Beans on toast

Tom Daley is a diving world champion; a sport that requires strength, high amounts of energy, and a lean physique. As a young athlete, Tom has had to fit a lot of his training and diet around his education, so he is a great example for children who might be rushed in the mornings. His breakfast options can be directly adapted for kids, as his early training schedule doesn’t allow for huge meals like some other athletes. Beans on toast is a quick, easy, healthy meal, and beans have a low Glycemic Index, which means they are a good source of slow release energy to keep youngsters from feeling tired in the day. They also contain a lot of soluble fibre, which will hopefully keep them full and reduce the need for snacking.

Victoria Pendleton – track cyclist

Breakfast: Wholemeal toast topped with peanut butter and sliced banana

Not only is Victoria Pendleton a top Olympic cyclist, she is also keen to promote the benefits of healthy eating, and says that breakfast is the most important meal in her diet plan. Her breakfast of peanut butter and banana on toast is perfect for kids, as it seems like a sweet tasty treat whilst being healthy at the same time. Peanut butter is high in magnesium which helps to develop strong and healthy bones, as well as some much needed muscle-building potassium. Be sure to buy a natural peanut butter, which will have lower levels of sodium and sugar than some of the commercial brands.

Sir Steven Redgrave – rower

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs on toast, four Weetabix, fruit juice

Rowers are renowned for eating mountains of food and Steve Redgrave was no different, eating on average 6,000 calories a day when he was competing. Take inspiration from Sir Steve’s breakfast by serving your kids scrambled or poached eggs on toast in the mornings. This meal is a great source of protein, and is quick and easy to prepare.

Andy Murray – tennis player

Breakfast: Two bowls of cereal, bagels with peanut butter, protein bar

Andy Murray is a prime example of the large portion sizes some athletes can have, but the principles of his breakfast can still be used to give your kids a healthy start to the day. Bagels in particular are a good way to change things up a bit at breakfast times if your kids are getting bored, and as they contain a high amount of starchy carbohydrates they will act as a good kick-start to their day. Serve these with natural peanut butter like Andy does, or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous you could top them with low fat cream cheese and salmon. This will provide their bodies with omega-3, which has been proven to improve brain function and cardiovascular health.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so be sure to inspire and encourage your children with these champion-worthy breakfasts. Nutritionist Maya Hodgson explains the importance of a healthy start to the day for kids:
“A healthy breakfast will ensure a steady supply of energy to get kids through the morning, help maintain attention span, and discourage snacking. It will also help them to develop a habit of breakfast-eating that will hopefully spill over into adulthood.”

At the heart of Team Mum is the video series Raising an Olympian, sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, profiling athletes from across the world, their dedicated efforts to make it to Olympic Games, and the mothers who had tremendous impacts on their lives. Watch the videos on Yahoo! Lifestyle Team Mum.

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