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Dieticians advising parents what to feed their children will be interested to learn that a new study has claimed to discover the most nutritious breakfast for eight to ten-year-olds.
Carried out by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the research involved 40 children, who were asked to eat one of three breakfasts before taking part in physical activities.
Once a week over a three-week period, participants were required to consume a 350-calorie breakfast of either eggs, oatmeal or cereal, then play games with the team of doctors, followed by lunch. The children had to eat all of their breakfast, but there were no rules about how much lunch they had to consume.
Then, they were asked a series of questions, such as 'how hungry are you?', while their parents took note of what else they ate throughout the day.
It was found that those who ate the egg-based breakfast - which comprised scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast, alongside diced peaches and milk with one per cent fat - were fuller at lunchtime than participants who had eaten oatmeal or cereal.
On average, those who had started the day with scrambled eggs ate 70 fewer calories at lunchtime - equivalent to a chocolate chip cookie.
However, the responses to the scientists' questions indicated that the children did not notice a significant difference in how full they felt depending which breakfast they had consumed, but eating eggs first thing did mean they consumed less throughout the rest of the day.
Tanja Kral, lead author of the study, commented: "I'm not surprised that the egg breakfast was the most satiating breakfast. What does surprise me is the fact that, according to the children's reports, eating the egg breakfast didn't make them feel fuller.
"We expected that the reduced lunch intake would be accompanied by lower levels of hunger and greater fullness after eating the high-protein breakfast, but this wasn't the case."
Written by Martin Lambert
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